I was a new bride and a relatively new Christian. So when my preacher husband got all excited about the fact that I played piano, it must have been a real let-down to him when he found out I’m a piano literalist – I plays it as it’s written. Hymnal music is meant to be sung, not played. Therefore, I was back to school – lessons to learn chording and improvisation. One day my piano teacher (more stories about her later – wow) told me about another student who was selling his old, upright piano. Was I interested? I went to Hubs and his response floored me: you ask God and do what He says.
How does one do that, exactly, asks I. Prayer, he says. And use the Bible to find your answers.
I’m sorry – does it say, “Yes, kiddo, go buy the piano,” in 2nd Hezekiah or something? But I humored him and went downstairs to the livingroom early one morning and played Bible Bingo – I just opened it up to the middle, knowing that would be the Psalms and I might find something remotely useful there.
The page was split. The top half was the last part of Psalm 32. The bottom half was the first part of Psalm 33. Being me, I started at the one I could start, Psalm 33:
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Well, that broke me. I cracked up laughing, and Hubs, frightened by such an odd noise in the pre-coffee hours, came down to check on me. I read it to him, still chuckling at the coincidence. He just looked at me, then turned and went back up.
Hm. No sense of humor, that man. Then, determined to find my answer, I kept reading:
Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Holy cow. Play skillfully?? I frowned. Could this really be my answer? I mean, wasn’t it just like the funniest coincidence ever – one I would no doubt be sharing with everyone? Surely God doesn’t speak that way. Of course I knew “upright” meant the person’s character and not the upright piano. Right? Of course right.
I can explain what happened next no other way except that my eyes were drawn upward, to the end of Psalm 32, and I read:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, Linda (addition mine), which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you…
I was really frowning then. Wow oh wow oh wow. I just got fussed out by God. But what was truly miraculous was what had just become undeniable fact for me: I was just spoken to by God.
I looked back down at the Bible in my lap and read the last verse of Psalm 32:
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
We had that piano for years.