I know nothing of sheep (Psalm 23) or vineyards (John 15), but much about music lessons. I believe the heart of God is revealed just as beautifully in the best attributes of a piano teacher (and so many other roles) as in those of a shepherd or farmer.
The LORD is my piano teacher, I have nothing to fear.
He starts me on the easiest songs so I can make true and simple music even as a beginner.
He teaches me my scales (I hate them, I do!) so my fingers know when to cross and tuck, over and under, and I will be ready for the difficult music that lies ahead.
When I stumble and cry because the music is hard (but I practiced! so much and so long!) he comforts me, then breaks it into smaller pieces that I can work on little by little, one by one, over and over and over again. He never ever tells me I am hopeless, untalented, and a waste of his time (like some other teachers do). But neither does he stop challenging me, stretching me, and molding me into a real musician. (Truly, it would be much less work for him if he didn’t care so much about my progress, if he just let me twiddle around in Book I, playing what I already know, never moving beyond 4/4 time signatures in the Key of C.)
When I stumble and err because I did not practice (but I was busy! so very, very busy!) he patiently waits while I mumble my excuses, then helps me get back to work so I can someday make a joyful noise. He never, ever slaps or slams the piano lid on my fingers (like some other teachers do). But neither does he look the other way, pretend all is well, and say “well, well, you are truly wondrous” just so I will feel happy. (Indeed, it would be much less work for him if he didn’t care so much about his students, if he just enrolled them methodically, lectured them dispassionately, listened to them unaffectedly, deposited their monthly tuition checks promptly, and called it even.)
When I play well – and it does happen now and then, miraculously, only because of all he’s taught me – he doesn’t offer cheap, worthless prizes (oh joy…another plastic bust of Liszt) but instead gives me new, more beautiful, more exciting, and more difficult songs to learn.
He is not content that I simply be a piano player. Instead, he molds me into a musician who loves music from deep inside my heart, makes music from deep inside my soul, and hears music from deep inside my being.
Sing! Shout! Make a joyful noise! The LORD does wondrous things for even such as I!