Broken Chords


An arpeggio is a sequence of notes played on a stringed instrument, most notably, a guitar. A chord is when several notes and strings are strummed together. An arpeggio, on the other hand, is a group of notes and strings which are played individually, letting each note ring on its own (even if just for a short time). Arpeggio comes from an Italian word for “plucking the harp”. A musician may place his hand on a guitar’s fingerboard in the position of a chord but then chooses to pluck each string individually. For this reason, arpeggios are often called broken chords.

I have always been drawn to arpeggios and players who use them, even before I knew what they were called. There is just something melodic and pleasing about the progression and pattern of them. It allows notes to stand out that might otherwise be lost in the din of a chord. Pulling them apart reveals a sort of hidden beauty that could easily be missed. Life pulls us apart sometimes. We often wish everything would be smooth and consistent. We want the notes of our life to come together in lovely harmony. Rarely does that happen, however. More often, we pluck at pieces and bits hoping to make something that passes for a decent tune. When things fall apart, that supplies the most fertile ground for us to grow. We grow wiser from mistakes. We grow more compassionate for those now suffering what we previously endured. We grow more aware of opportunities easily missed.

Those lovely notes can only be discovered by breaking the chord apart. Don’t worry if the song of your life seems broken and discordant at the moment. It is in those times that God is more perfectly revealed to us. Often, it is only in those times that we truly listen for His voice. The apostle Paul wanted to strum the chord of healing for himself in 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10. “[A] thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NKJV).

Life may “sound” more pleasant when all the notes are working smoothly together. But don’t forget that some beautiful music can be made from broken chords, broken hearts, and broken roads. Let God put His song into your heart and show you that you are a pleasing sound in His ears. Let Him pull something wonderful from your strings. May the Lord shine upon you.

Posted on December 19, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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