Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 16: 14-23

And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

Music heals. It has the power to speak for us when we don’t have the words, it can inspire better communication with others, and it can help us express our emotions in a healthy way. Yet this is not it’s only healing power; music can have even greater effects. I would guess that many of us know this firsthand, as people who have experienced emotional or physical transformation in small or big ways through the healing power of music. Scientists have spent years studying the effects of listening to music, particularly calmer music, and found that it has many benefits. For example, music improves memory, sleep-quality, blood flow, and mood, and reduces pain and everyday stress, as well as major stress following a severe stressor or injury.

It is no wonder that Saul found great comfort in David’s playing the lyre. Perhaps if we all spent time listening to music and reflecting, we might find it just a little easier to follow the call of scripture to “fear not.” Can you think of a time that listening to music made a difference in your mood? How might you be more mindful of the way you incorporate music into your life, particularly in times of stress or discomfort?

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”
—Martin Luther