Why Has God Put Me on the Shelf?
by Molly Shorter
Have you ever had a season in your life where you felt like God had "put you on the shelf" in your music ministry? Maybe you have had to step away from your music ministry due to health reasons, or you relocated to a new town. Perhaps, there have been personal conflicts. For a singer, that's a difficult season to go through. I have gone through it myself and have watched others go through it.
A close friend of mine is gifted musically. She has a beautiful singing voice and has been using those vocal cords for the Lord for as long as I've known her. Due to one health issue after another, she hasn't been able to sing in months. She is so frustrated. For some reason, God has allowed these interruptions in her life and has put her vocals on a shelf for a season.
Another friend of mine had to rest his vocal cords for several months because there were nodules on them. Resting the vocal cords means no singing. Conflicts at home caused another friend of mine to have to step away for a while. In each of these three circumstances the question was asked: Why has God put me on a shelf musically when He created me to be a singer for His honor and glory?
Years ago, my husband changed jobs, and we moved to another state. In our new location, there weren't a lot of opportunities for me to be involved in music. I was out of the music ministry for a season. I began to ask the Lord why. I literally felt like He had put me on a shelf in my music ministry.
If you're facing these same struggles right now, I don't know what God may have planned for you, but I can tell you what He taught me through those seasons. Psalm 37:7 says, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." You see, as musicians, we get so focused on our ministry - learning new songs and performing new songs - often times, we forget to be still before the Lord. God's desire for each of us is to become more like His Son Jesus. And He uses whatever He sees best to continue to grow us in Him.
We can't grow or be effective ministers if we're not being still before the Lord daily. So, if you find yourself in a season where you feel like your ministry is being interrupted, remember that God has a plan. He may be using this time to help you learn to be still and wait patiently for Him to work in the circumstances that you're in. Be still before the Lord and wait for Him to work. Continue to worship Him, and let His music fill your heart. Then when He moves in your circumstances and takes you "off the shelf," to sing again, you'll be a vessel ready to be used in His service.
Molly Shorter is full-time musician and worship leader in the service of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. She works with church musicians, giving them opportunities to develop and use their God-given musical gifts for His honor and glory.
Along with leading a large worship team, she is also a teacher to budding musicians, a playwright and theater director, a composer, and the writer of your enouragement here at Christwill Music.