When you hear a dissonant chord, typically something inside you longs for it to be resolved. It creates a tension that begs to be released. Whether you experience this only on an audible level or you understand it from the theory construct, this type of chord often leads to another.
Another field which employs a similar term is psychology. In this field, you often hear of cognitive dissonance meaning there are competing thoughts. Again, wrestling through the different perspectives competing to come out on top indicates the need for one thought to come under submission to the other. Resolution; one is looking to arrive at resolution or at least a place of acceptable conclusion.
What happens when God asks you to do something you really don’t want to do? Dissonance. Your desires (will) are competing with God’s.
I found myself in this uncomfortable space when my love of creating music on my piano and competing thoughts collided as God transitioned us from a life of relative ease and financial security into full-time ministry.
Part of that transition required us to sell our home. At the time, we thought He was asking us to move into an RV as our full-time dwelling, so we were selling and giving away furniture. We had planned to keep a few pieces, primarily those handed down in the family and select other pieces, but largely, we had decided that we were to downsize drastically.
One of my friends was aware of a missionary family that was returning to the States that needed to furnish a home. “Do you have anything they might want?” she asked. I put together an extensive list of items for them to look through, and we arranged a time for them to come pick up the items they desired.
After we made the arrangements for a day and time, I felt God asking, “What about the piano? Would you give them your piano?” Those two questions not only created cognitive dissonance, but made my heart feel as if someone had struck a harsh chord that had no resolution.
“Oh, Lord, not the piano. Please not the piano.” This was not just any piano. It was the piano I learned to play on from my childhood. It was often a place of comfort and solace or a meeting place with God in an intimate way. Immediate willingness and obedience was not present. I was going to have to fight through this direct request.
On one hand, it was irreplaceable because of its sentimental value. On the other hand, I’d wanted to upgrade pianos for a while. It wouldn’t be able to go with us in the RV, but we could store it. However, in my heart, I knew that storing it indefinitely was bad for the instrument itself and could even mean its complete demise in the dry Colorado climate.
Out the Door
Finally, I said, “If they specifically ask about the piano, Lord.” Of course, I was hoping they wouldn’t ask, and I wasn’t willing to go out of my way to offer it.
The missionaries came to pick up the furniture that we had agree to give them. As I was about to close the door behind him as he walked out, he turned around and asked, “What about the piano? My wife hasn’t had a piano to play in years, and I know she would really like to have one.”
I heard myself say, “The Lord and I have been talking about that. I’ll get back to you closer to time for us to move out of the house.”
They became the proud owners of that well-loved, used, Story and Clark piano, but I wasn’t home when they came to load it up. Amazingly, we received word that God had it arrive in another city about an hour north of us in tune after leaving my house greatly in need of a tuning appointment.
My heart strings were plucked. Sometimes I still ache to have a piano to sit down and play, but the resolution, relief, and transition to a more pleasant place come with knowing that God used me to provide for another. I have the ability to rejoice not only in my obedience, but in the joy it gave her.
Do you have times when what you want to do and what God says is acceptable don’t play nice together or strike a pleasing harmony? It may be that you need to take stock of what’s in your life and decide if you will allow the Lord to reign or if you are going to reserve just that one little thing; that thought, behavior, dream, relationship, possession, position, income….Is Jesus at the door asking if you will surrender something you are emotionally attached to? If He is, it’s time to give it to Him. Your obedience and surrender will bring Him great joy, and you will be blessed through your act of obedience.
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