Through You, I can do anythingThursday nights and early Sunday mornings are the times when we practice as a worship team before playing during the service. Usually, the list of songs is emailed by Tuesday so we can individually practice with our instruments ahead of time. Due to computer problems, I only found out what we were playing on the way to church on Thursday. I play by ear so I have to be familiar with a song to have an idea how to play it. There was no time for me to practice, let alone hear (thru YouTube) how a new song played. Thankfully, my singer friend repeatedly sang the unfamiliar song to me as I drove us.
I can do all things, ‘cause it’s You who gives me strength
Nothing is impossible
From the song “Nothing is Impossible” by Planetshakers
I sounded awful when we practiced together. I knew I had to practice some more on my own, and did! Unfortunately, trying to practice without playing the melody – which was how my right hand knew how to naturally play(!) – wasn’t easy. I tried to play using the chord variations but it didn’t sound right. Worse of all, I couldn’t worship because I was trying to figure out how to play!
On Sunday, as we finished practicing before the service, our team leader told me I should just play the chord and hold it down. I wasn’t to allow my fingers to go up and down the keys (playing arpeggio). I asked if he meant for just the intro of the songs but he said for each chord I played. Immediately, I knew I had to re-learn a new way of playing and just minutes before the service started! Playing the melody was what I naturally did. Playing arpeggio was how I naturally played! When I prayed before the service started, I knew I needed a LOT of help! I knew I could play as he asked but it was no longer anywhere near how I liked to play and it certainly wasn’t as fun. Most of all, I was disturbed because I knew I had to pay attention to the new way I was supposed to play and would have an even harder time worshipping! Still, I was determined to obey. When we started, I tried as best I could to play as he asked.
I don’t think I succeeded the whole time but I knew I tried as well as I could, in the time I was given to get used to playing that way (which was none). I surprised myself that I worshipped anyway. In my heart, the Lord deserved it regardless that I thought I didn’t sound right nor good. And that’s when the butterfly flew in the sanctuary. We were singing the lines above and it started to fly towards us in the front. It fluttered here and there just in front of the stage and I thought I imagined it. I didn’t! I smiled broadly when one child loudly said, “Look, a butterfly!”
The last time I was mesmerized by a flying butterfly was six years ago as the school’s principal asked me to consider teaching first grade for a semester. As I listened to her, the custodian opened the door of the classroom we were in and in flew the butterfly with him. I stopped hearing her because my mind was completely baffled that a butterfly would fly inside that second floor room, at that perfect time, as a new direction in my life was being offered to me. And it happened again in the sanctuary. In both places, I’d not seen any butterfly fly in before, nor after. Those times were firsts!
I know that I was like a caterpillar transformed into a butterfly. The Lord changed me, taught me, and helped me to be a new person. He brings about changes like being able to play the keyboard at church and then exaggerates the point by flying in a real one. He is so amazing!
And, as I sat there listening to the preaching, all of a sudden, the pastor said, “It doesn’t matter that our musicians cannot play well so long as they can take us to the presence of God.” I might have wondered if I really heard that but Eng was then pressing my hand and making sure I knew it was a word for me. I don’t know what else to say. We have an amazingly fascinating God. There is no end to His surprises!
I’m not gonna live by what I see
I’m not gonna live by what I feel
Deep down I know that You’re here with me
And I know that You can do anything!