An Orchestrated Pause

By:  Lois Mitchell


Psalm 61:1-4  "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (2)  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I, (3) For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.  (4)  I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.  Selah"


I played the violin for a number of years during my days in school.  I had the honor of playing with our city orchestra and in various contests and regional events.

One thing that has stayed with me was the way the conductor got our attention and prepared us.  The concert master used a baton that was only about 10 inches long to focus and direct the members of the orchestra.  When the baton was raised we knew that we were to pause and watch.  All eyes were to be fixed on the conductor before them.  With bated breath we waited and watched as one for the moment the baton would go into motion.  The musicians no longer focused on the notes in front of them for they had prepared, practiced, and waited for this very moment.  Our focus was on the conductor who would make eye contact with the players and then the sweep of the baton would bring us from attention to action.

The verses found in Psalm 61 remind me of an orchestra and its conductor.  In life we practice, we prepare, and often grow overwhelmed and weary in the struggles that seemingly come at us from all sides.  However, in these times we need to take a deep breath and realize that we are not alone.  We have a heavenly conductor who is available to calm us and direct us. 

The little word "Selah" really has no actual definition, yet most agree that it is a musical term that means to "pause or lift up".  I believe that it is a special bond between the Lord and His children that allows Him to direct us through this symphony called life.  The Lord, Himself, brings us to a pause in order to make contact with us and remind us that He is in control.  Psalm 23 is a great example of this.

Psalm 23:   "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. (2)  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth my beside the still waters.  He restoresth my soul; (3) he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.  (4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death , I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  (5)  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  (6)  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."


Years ago, Sister Joan Ewing penned a song that perfectly describes the word "Selah" and what I term "Spiritual Orchestration".

           I'm on my way to a cleft in the rock
           To a very special place by His side
           I'm almost out of the wind and the rain
           Til the storm passes over
           Safe here I'll remain.
           Rock of ages
           Make room for me
           Rock of ages
           Let me hide myself in thee
           Let the winds blow
           The rains fall
           The earth shake neath my feet
           Blessed rock of ages
           My fear's lost in Thee.


Lois and her husband of 32 years, Jimmy Mitchell, pastor Apostolic Life UPC in Pensacola, Florida.  Sister Mitchell presently serves the Florida District in the role of Ladies Ministries President.





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