A Relentless Chopin Prelude Points to Never-Ending Love

One of my husband’s very favorite piano pieces is Chopin’s Prelude Opus 28, #15 in D flat major. Whaaaattt ? You don’t know it? It’s not one of your favorites on your Spotify playlist? Hahahaha — just kidding, I don’t expect you to know it. It’s also commonly known as his “Raindrop” prelude. Written somewhere between 1835 and 1839, it is well known—OK, among classical pianists and a few piano students, anyway—for its “repeating A flat, which appears throughout the piece. The A-flat sounds like raindrops to many listeners…”[1]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh03YXzvDF4

Throughout a couple of key changes—from the D flat major with its pleasant melodic section …

to a stormy and harsher section C# minor …

and back to D flat…

…that A flat (G#) just continues its relentless, methodic dripping.

On and on and on and on and on.

I used to think of it as a little depressing and so I always wondered why my husband wanted me to play that piece. I mean, I liked it and all, but really? In the back of my mind was the vague memory of my piano teacher telling me about Chopin, and something about water dripping on his heart…  And apparently, I didn’t make that up.  According to Wikipedia, Chopin’s mistress (George Sand) wrote in her book  Histoire de ma vie that Chopin had told her about a dream where he had drowned and heavy drops of ice water were falling on his breast. Most people associate that story with this piece. Depressing, right?

But somewhere over the last few years, the music stopped being so depressing to me and became encouraging instead. Because that incessant, repeated, note? That’s like the note of Jesus Christ throughout our lives, if we’re believers.

Throughout every change in our lives –

the ups, the major keys, the uplifting moments, through the pleasant times, God is there.  And through the downs, through the minor keys and the sad, hard times – our God is still there.

Relentlessly pursuing a relationship with us, regardless of what the circumstances of our lives look like.

Whether things are flowing and melodious or stormy and chaotic. That note of Jesus Christ and his grace is pressing in, never going away, persistently present.

  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). 
  • He has loved us with an everlasting love and drawn us with unfailing lovingkindness (Jeremiah 31:3). 
  • When we pass through the waters, he will be with us. When we pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over us (Isaiah 43: 2).
  • He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
  • He will never leave us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

So here’s my challenge to you. 

Next time you hear some piece of music that sounds repetitive, maybe even monotonous? Reflect on God’s ever-present, never-ending love for you. Next time you are tempted to give up because things look rocky all around you and circumstances are hard? Go listen to Chopin’s raindrop prelude and reflect on God’s promise to be with you. On and on and on and on.

Now I get why my husband likes it so much.


[1] Fishko, Sara (2010-03-19). “The Fishko Files: Chopin’s ‘Raindrop’ Prelude”. WNYC. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Accessed on 2019-04-07.

5 Things God Says About Us

Some time ago, I was reading in Isaiah and came across these verses in chapter 56:

Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will sure exclude me from his people” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”
For this is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose what pleases me… to them I will give… a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath… these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy…”

(Isaiah 56:3-7 , NIV)

I know we don’t go around talking about eunuchs much (ummm, I know I certainly don’t!!), but the thing that stopped me was that phrase ” I am only…” and I couldn’t help but think of how often that phrase runs through my mind and I complain to myself, or more accurately, to the Lord, that “I can’t do this, I am only… ”

Because in my life? and probably yours too — it is so, so easy to say that. Do any of these words sound familiar? Do any thoughts like these run on repeat, like a litany through your mind?
I am only… a wife and mother. Tired of chasing littles or exhausted by a teenager’s attitude or desperately waiting and longing for a child of my own.
I am only… a teenager struggling to fit in and get good grades and a date for next weekend.
I am only… a worker bee trying to support my family and find joy and purpose in a schedule packed with meetings or in the humdrum of business.
I am only…
I am only… a construction worker, a programmer, an engineer, an admin assistant, a teacher, a student, an accountant. I am not a pastor, church worker, missionary, bible-educated scholar, I am not ____.
I am only… a hack piano player who enjoys music but doesn’t have the talent of ____.
I am only… a weak and sinful person. I am not beautiful, pulled-together, righteous person, full of grace and truth, pouring God’s word out like a river, I am not like ____.
I am only___ .
You fill in the blank. This list could go on and on. I know, because I’ve tried many of those excuses myself.

No one should complain “I am only…” or doubt His promises to us.

But what does God say? He says “let not any eunuch complain, ‘I am only’…

And who does God say we are, if we have turned away from sin and turned toward Christ? The flipside to the fact that I have a whole long list of “I am only” excuses in my head is that if I bothered to believe what the Bible says, I could also experience a whole long list of God’s promises! Here are just five things — among the many — that God says about us:

  • I am chosen – 1 Peter 2:9 – ” But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…”
  • I am not forsaken – Hebrews 13:5 – God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
  • I am a child of God – John 1:12 – ” to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
  • I am set free from sin by the truth of Jesus Christ – John 8:31-36 – “the truth will set you free … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. “
  • I am looking forward to an eternal home that Christ is preparing for me – John 14:1-3 – “I am going there to prepare a place for you…”

And if any of this is starting to sound familiar, maybe it is because you’ve heard the song called “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong .

Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am
(Words and music by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan,
© 2017 Hillsong Music Publishing)

So just remember. Remember the next time you hear that song. Remember when your brain starts to give the excuse that “I can’t do that, I’m only…”

No one should complain “I am only… ” but remember that you are who God says you are. You are chosen, loved, ransomed, and set free… because of Jesus.