The Owners of the Instruments

My husband and I once had lunch in the home of two lovely young ladies who use their musical gifts in the church where we were working. These ladies had left their home countries to come to Vienna so they could study with the best teachers to help them sharpen their skills on their instruments. It took a lot of sacrifice for them to get accepted into their schools. They and their family were also sacrificing a great deal to keep them there. God miraculously provided for them. They were honoring Him with their lives and their gifts.

706px-Philippe_Mercier_-_The_Sense_of_Hearing_-_Google_Art_ProjectIn junior high school I played viola and then violin in our orchestra. When I moved, there was not an orchestra in the next school. There was only a band. So I didn’t continue with violin lessons, but I had played long enough to know how very difficult it is to get a good sound out of the instrument. I had just gotten past the squealing stage when I had to quit.

These sweet girls played the violin and the cello. They had purchased what they could afford. Their instruments were not the best. Neither were the bows. The violin player even laughingly described the crookedness in her bow. I can attest to the fact that these girls made beautiful music come out of those instruments. They told us others had tried to play their instruments but always complained stating they didn’t know how these girls are able to play with them. The girls admitted that the music was not the same when others tried to use their instruments.

The Touch of the Master’s Hand by Myra Brooks Welch is a well-known poem that describes an auction where the bid for an old violin increased one thousand fold after an old man came to the front and played a sweet melody on it. The difference was the touch of the master’s hand.

In the case of my two friends, the master’s touch was so intimate that each of them was the only person who could make beautiful music come out of what others considered an inferior instrument.

I belong to Jesus. In His hands I can be an instrument of usefulness – but only in His hands.

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

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