The Front Row
We had gathered for a carol practice – choristers from two churches. My church members and I were on home territory. I decided we should make the others feel welcome. I grinned at their friendly faces. I went up to them and chatted for awhile. Soon we were asked to form three rows to could sing as a choir. I joined friends in the front row. That’s where I usually end up because of my height. I was too short for anywhere else.
It was then that I felt God whisper into my heart. ‘Make them feel welcome Anusha’. So I turned back and said with a smile ‘Why don’t you take our places in the front row?” They smiled back. We exchanged places. And everyone was happy. Myself included.
Until I realised I couldn’t see the choir conductor very well. Oh! Never mind, I told myself. All for a worthy cause. Besides, I could peep in between two heads and that way I could see well enough. I enjoyed those practices. I had two great friends on either side of me. One of them joked all the time and made me laugh. The other was a kindred spirit. It was lovely to make new friends too. I even discovered a lady who was from Sri Lanka. And of course, singing carols with others always bring me joy.
On the day of our performance, I dressed in dark pants and a white blouse. I made sure my bag contained all I needed, including a bottle of water – it was a warm day. I drove to church for our sound rehearsal. I hastened to the platform here we were to be seated. I hopped on to it and began moving towards my seat in the second row. But stopped short as I realised something was amiss. My seat had been taken by a newcomer. Oh!
I sidled backwards and onto the grass. Where could I sit? ‘Would you like to sit in the front row Anusha?” asked the choir leader. My eyebrows shot up. Now that was a surprise. But....why not? 'Yes, thanks!' I replied with a wide grin. I stepped onto the stage again Yes, there were two seats in the front row so I took one. It was then that I felt God's whisper in my heart once again. It was His gift to me - that front row seat. Wow! I was so amazed.
I confess that I enjoyed sitting there in the front row that day. For one thing I had a great view of the proceedings. For another I felt deeply blessed to know how it came about. I had given up my front row seat for a good reason. And there was God working things out for me. I was in the front row again – because He put me there. That was special. And very encouraging.
I was encouraged not just because I got a seat in the front row. I was encouraged because it was a sneak peak of other situations where I wondered what God was doing. Sometimes circumstances have pushed me to the back row. The view wasn’t good. I struggled to see the ‘Conductor’ and to follow His music. But that day God taught me not to fret. It’s His job to bring me to the front row, not mine. He will do at the right time. Yes, I can trust Him.
Have you been pushed to the back row lately? Are you wondering what God has been up to? Have you been sitting patiently in the dark – way behind in the back row – hoping the lights will come on and that you will see better? Sometimes our times in the back row are training seasons. Usually they are only for a brief time. Sometimes though, they go on for far too long! And we begin to wonder where the Conductor's gone and what He is doing.
Let me remind you my friend that one day the Master Conductor will walk up to you and ask you to move to a seat in the front row; one with a grand view. May God encourage you today with His promises and His hope. May you leave the past behind with its disappointments and its sorrows. May you walk ahead confidently into the New Year and with your head held high, knowing that He who conducts life’s orchestra knows what he is about. His music will get your off your feet to start to dance even while the rain pours down. His anthems are melodious; His music sweet.
As this New Year unfolds, may God place you in best seat of all.
“And may the God of hope fill your heart with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13