Thursday, January 23, 2014

He Plays Beautifully

I don't often admit the thoughts that run through my head during a worship service. I suspect that's because, like most people, my mind isn't always where it belongs. Which is why the fact that I am about to tell you a passing thought I had during a funeral is kind of hard for me.

Maybe it was selfish.

Glenn's guitar sat just two feet from me as I rested on the piano bench. He wasn't there to play it. It was his funeral.

After the music was sung, my eyes wandered back over to the instrument I wouldn't hear him play. They perched there for a moment. Just long enough for me to wonder, wouldn't it be amazing if that was a magic guitar? 

A brief scene coursed through my imagination. Some guy wanders into our praise team loft and sees the guitar sitting in its stand. He ponders it a moment, glances around to make sure no one is paying attention, then picks it up. He sits on the pew behind him and places the guitar on his lap, the back of it resting on his chest. Without explanation, his fingers move exactly to the right parts of the guitar like they have found their home. He leans over the instrument. His body is possessed by a musical talent he never knew he had and, like magic, the guitar makes a guitarist out of the man. He picks beautifully.

But it wouldn't be Glenn. So it wouldn't matter. And there are no such things as magic guitars.

It's just a piece of wood, I remembered.

But for some reason I couldn't let the thought rest there. It's been haunting me these past weeks.

The cross, that was just a piece of wood too. A couple pieces of wood held together by some ropes or something. But in the right hands, it played the most beautiful music I've ever heard. The music of my redemption.

We get wrapped up in the things, but with that guitar there was no doubt that the talent resided in its master. Glenn was good. He was so good. You just couldn't be unhappy while he was playing. It was like magic.
But the most beautiful part of all was that he shared it. His music was a sacrifice to God. He didn't keep it to himself. He just couldn't.

God has done that all along. From the beginning when He breathed out "let there be light" and there was, He showed us that the beauty lies in the Creator. He beckons us throughout His Word over and over to look beyond the nuts and bolts of what we see, and see the Master behind it all. And He plays beautifully.

So why do we doubt His work in us?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things. -Philippians 4:8

If you are like me, you are more than willing to check off the list above thinking "these things" about other people. She is lovely. He is so commendable.

But the first thing to remember is that Paul tells us to think about what is true.

Here is the truth: you are those things too.

Not on your own of course. Me neither. But God has breathed His Spirit into you, and if He can work wonders on a bloody hunk of wood, then He will work wonders in you. And through you.

You are not ordinary. Not anymore. You might look it on the outside, but the truth is He is extraordinary and what He has done in your heart is the most amazing thing in the world. So amazing the world cannot understand it. So amazing the devil would try anything to ruin it. So amazing that you cannot listen to the worthless lies of the father of lies anymore.

In God's hands there is no such thing as ordinary. He cannot touch a thing without it being amazing just from having been in contact with Him. He might wrap it up in what the world will say is "common," but there is nothing common about following God. Nothing.

You are more than a hunk of wood. You are a precious and beautiful instrument in the hands of the Master Artist. And it's not magic. It's real. There can be no doubt, He plays you beautifully.

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Linking up with Simply Beth for Three Word Wednesday (on this Thursday morning:))