15 Now bring me a musician.” While the musician played, the Lord’s power came over Elisha. 16 He said, “This is what the Lord says: This valley will be filled with pools.17 This is what the Lord says: You won’t see any wind or rain, but that valley will be full of water. Then you’ll be able to drink—you, your cattle, and your animals. 18 This is easy for the Lord to do. He will also hand Moab over to you.
I love a good playlist.
I’ve got my exercise playlist to get me energized, I’ve got my showtunes playlist that makes cleaning the house way more fun, I’ve got my rainy brooding playlist, I’ve got a playlist for everything. (I’m super jazzed about getting to make a wedding playlist!)
It may not come as a surprise to you that in 2007, the Stanford University School of Medicine did a study that found that classical music helped people focus. I didn’t need a study to know that, I’m a huge fan of those “Music for Studying” or “Music for Reading” videos on YouTube. I’ve heard others talk about the way they’ll use music to overcome fears (I couldn’t find many studies on such a thing – but I found the idea intriguing). I think I’ve seen that in my own life, my using music to alter my anxiety. Sometimes a good beat is the only thing that’ll bring me back from the rabbit hole of worry I’ve found myself in.
In today’s text, Elisha is very down on his luck and is in an extremely difficult and dangerous situation and he does basically the biblical times version of turning to our music app on our phones – he says, “Now bring me a musician.” It was actually quite common in those times for prophets to use music as a way to try to induce hearing God’s spirit or going into a trance. And with the music flowing, Elisha hears God and gains the courage to move forward.
Music can play such an important role in our mood, our attitude, our bravery. Perhaps it’s time to press play.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
What role does music play in your life? Is there a genre you typically find yourself drifting towards? Is there a certain kind of mood you tend to be in when you find yourself hitting the play button on your favorite song? Can you think of a song about courage or that would give you courage? I invite you to play that song today and take the time to just listen.
Prayer: God of song, play us a melody of courage today so that we may be brave enough to be the people you are calling us to be. Amen.