Ever feel like you’re being squeezed by life? Yes. Me too. Today I feel squeezed by little things and big things, important things and unimportant things. Things that need to be done right now, things that needed to be done yesterday and things that I have no idea how to do. All building up and squeezing away. If you feel a bit like that this postcard might be for you too…
I’ve had the picture of an accordion in my head for a couple of days now. It’s funny how different instruments or pieces of music can tug at a memory or make an association for us even if we’re not entirely sure why. For some reason when I picture an accordion I always hear the tune of ‘the Old Rugged Cross’ or ‘How Great thou Art‘ playing in my head. I can probably blame my grandfather, Reg, for that as I’m told he played a concertina (similar to this) enthusiastically and rather badly for most of his adult life and apparently those hymns were in his repertoire.
I’ve found out today that this family of instruments, also called ‘squeezeboxes’, all work by compressing air with bellows and then forcing it over reeds. The reeds vibrate at different pitches creating the sound that we hear. Depending on the combination of keys and buttons pressed by the player, the air can be forced over several reeds at once so harmonies, chords and a bass line can all be played at once. The more pressure is created by the air, the more notes can be played loudly at the same time.
Pressure and worship.
You probably can’t avoid pressure in life, (and it probably wouldn’t be good for you if you did). But like this accordion player: you do have the choice about what you do with it. On a squeezebox you can make an awful cacophony… or by pressing the right buttons you can turn that pressure into worship. It still might not sound all that beautiful to listen to: but it will be worship.
My favourite example of this is Psalm 22. It begins with David under pressure and wondering why he’s been abandoned. His description of his circumstances is pretty colourful but my attention is caught today by this line: ‘My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs’ (Psalm 22:16 NLT). I know that feeling. As though a hundred little things, and one or two really big things are snapping away at my heels. Stressful, painful, tiring, everyday pressure. And yet David seems to manage to choose to turn that pressure into worship. A few lines later he declares: ‘All who seek the Lord will praise him, their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy’ (22:26).
Of course you can’t just pick up an Accordion and instantly know how to use it. You have to learn, and then you have to practise. But it’s a challenge isn’t it? To take whatever is causing stress, pain or pressure in your life and choose to learn how to turn that pressure it into worship.
In amongst all the everyday stresses something rather wonderful happened this week. Postcards from Heaven – The Book was published on January 22nd. Already I’m hearing stories of God speaking life and grace into people’s hearts who have received a copy as a gift. So a huge thank you to those of you who have bought it and given it away!
If you haven’t got one yet:
If you’re in the UK I recommend getting a copy direct from the publisher here
or those of you in the US or Australia can buy a copy here
If you’ve already read the book and it would be really helpful if you have time to find the book on Amazon or Waterstones and write a review! Thanks