My First Thoughts
It has been a little while since I woke up this morning. I have managed, despite a poor night’s sleep on a new memory-foam mattress pad, to get up, get dressed, and make myself a cup of coffee – all without eating any turkey. Of course, that will come later, like in an hour or two, when the urge to make a left-over turkey sandwich is too much to ignore.
But the reason I am writing is because of the first thing that came into my mind this morning. Even before I raised my head from my pillow, before I prayed a prayer, before I even adjusted to the light sneaking through the blinds, something crossed my mind.
As I lay in bed this morning, I remembered a recent conversation in which I was asked, “Tell me, name one thing I do well?” Distraught and depressed, broken and humiliated by disabling pain, feeling like a burden to everyone else, this person said, “I’m worthless. I can’t do anything.”
But as I lay in bed remembering those words, the image of a musical instrument, a violin, came to mind. Then I thought of my guitar and other instruments; each one capable of making beautiful, worshipful music, but only in the hands of one with talent enough to play.
I remembered those words spoken by another and applied them to the violin. The violin asked, “Tell me, name one thing I do well?” All I could think to reply was, “Nothing.” What can a violin do on it’s own but rest in a case, sit on a shelf, or gather dust in a closet? In the hands of one with no skill, with other things to do, and with no love for music, the violin could even become a wearisome burden over time.
In the wrong hands the violin is “worthless.” It has no value, no worth, no ability, no projection, no tone, and no song on it’s own. Alone, it really can’t do anything.
Then, right on cue, another thought exploded in my brain. What are we but instruments in the Master’s hands? We have no ability on our own. The violin never plays itself. The only way a musical instrument can ring out notes of joyous praise is when it is given life by the energy of the Musician.
But some may say, “I’m not a violin, a guitar, or anything like that.” Maybe so, but in the hands of a skilled musician even a trash can can bring an audience to its feet.
You may not feel like you’re valuable. You may feel worthless. But don’t believe the lie of the Enemy! Your value is not determined by what you can do, or what you look like, or by what others think, but by how much the Master was willing to pay.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” – 1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV
Dear friend, don’t let your inadequacies, your mistakes, or your disabilities make you feel worthless. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, thought you were worth dying for, and willingly shed His blood to purchase your soul. In your own strength you may be incapable of anything but being a burden on others, but in the hands of the Master, your life can be an instrument of praise in the concert of the ages.
Who knows? You may already be on stage … so don’t give up … the audience may be ready to applaud.