There Is No Music During A Musical Rest

The following is taken from a post that I did several months ago, prior to my blog being established.  I have gone back many times and thought about this post, and really wanted to make it a part of the blog.

I love music and I love the guitar.  There was a time when I was younger that I actually thought I could play the guitar.  When I moved to Nashville a few years ago, I quickly found out that there are a lot of people who “think” they can play the guitar, and then, there are guitar players.  I was a part of the former group.

As my life has dramatically changed over the past few months, I have found some comforting therapy by picking up Vicki’s old Gibson guitar, and attempting to play once again.  While doing so, I picked up some sheet music and made some interesting observations.

There are some musicians who play by ear and never look at a piece of music, while others read the music from a piece of paper that contains all sorts of symbols.  Musical symbols and marks are used in the musical notation of musical scores, styles, and instruments to describe pitch, rhythm, and tempo.  Included are: staffs, clefs, key signatures, notes, rests, and bar lines.

“Rests” are just what the name implies — a rest or a stopping point, a time of silence.  A musician knows that there is no music during a musical rest, but the “rest” is part of the making of the music.

In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests.  During those rests, we sometimes believe we have come to the end of the song.  Rests are not to be confused with a double bar line which indicates the end of the song.  God may send us a time of forced “rest” by allowing sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts, and unexpected changes in our lives.

The song of our life is sounding so beautiful, and suddenly, He brings a pause in the choral arrangement of our lives, and we find that our voices become silent.  We grieve that our part is silent, or missing, in the music that continually rises to the ear of our Creator.

Yet, how does a musician read the “rest?”  He counts the break with unwavering precision and plays his next note with confidence, as if no pause were ever there.  How dramatically different our life-songs would be, if only we could learn this simple rule.

God does not write the music of our lives without a plan.  Our part is to learn the tune and not be discouraged during the “rests.”  Rests are not to be slurred over or omitted, nor used to destroy the melody or to change the key.  Rests come in varying lengths of time, yet no matter how long, or how short, each is vital to the melody and the making of the song.

Perhaps you have recently encountered an unexpected doctor’s report, or your best-laid plans have been interrupted.  Perhaps your desperate efforts to make something happen have become your biggest frustration.  Abrupt changes in your road of life may have caused you to question your life-song.

If we will only look up, God Himself will count the time for us.  With our eyes on Him, our next note will be full and clear.  If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, “There is no music in a rest,” do not forget that the “rest” is part of the making of the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet God patiently works to teach us.  And He quietly waits for us to learn the lesson.

If your song has been interrupted and it seems that you are facing a “rest,” may I personally encourage you to count the break with unwavering precision, and play your next note full and clear with unshakable confidence, as if no pause were ever there.

Your song is meant to be heard, and the “rest” is not the end.

Still believing!


  1. I so needed to hear this right now. My life has been so uncertain of late. First, losing my job last year, becoming separated this May, then thinking I’d found a job only to have it disappear without warning…so I suppose if this is a “rest” the world would say it sure has been a stressful one. I still worship Jehovah Jireh. I’ve seen miracle provision since May. I have plenty of questions and uncertainty about how to proceed. But I keep being reminded to “be still” and know that He is God. This is a beautiful reminder that my song isn’t over. Thank you, Bro. Ray. Much love!

  2. Thank you for the encouragement brother, Ray. How true that the crucible of our lives is often a quiet one. Thank you for the reminder that even in the rest, we are never alone and God is never without a plan.

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