Monday, July 10, 2006

The Master's Touch

I know that I've posted a picture of my guitar before. But today, I got to thinking about it. This is a '65 Gibson LG-1. It was my dad's. I have some very fond memories of this instrument, of my brother and I putting on "shows" for mom and dad. I would "play" the guitar, and he would sing. I didn't actually know how to play yet, but it was all in good fun. Then, as a teenager, I decided to take some lessons. I remember that this guitar sounded absolutely awful. It was pretty beat up, scratched up and even in tune, it was still out of tune! But I learned the basics, and moved up to an electric guitar.

Then, last October, as I was on the phone with my uncle Mike, who is a master with all things guitar, he asked me if I wanted the old Gibson. My dad had given it to him some time earlier, and he did some fix-up work on it.

He brought to my house one Saturday and I've had ever since. I took that guitar out of the case, and it still looked the same as I had always remembered. But as I strummed the strings, I heard something from that instrument that I had never heard before-a beautiful sound. To look at the thing, it didn't look much different. It still had the same scratches that I remembered as a kid. It still had the same knicks in the body. But it had been in the care of a master, and it was evident with the first strum on it in over 16 years.

What's my point in writing all this? We aren't that dissimilar from the old guitar. Like that guitar, we came into the hands of our Master with our warped necks, deep gouges and unsightly scratches. We came with a bitter, out-of-tune sound that made others want to plug their ears and run. But, in the hands of the Lord, he has taken our broken lives and made something beautiful out of them. He has healed our hearts and hurts. He's taken our bitter attitudes and tuned them up. Like a warped, bent neck, he has used life's trials to force change to straighten us up. And when he is done with us, we sing with the most beautiful sound, because we have been touched by the hand of God, our Master Craftsman.

You know, that guitar still may be scratched up, with those same gouges that I surely helped put in it so many years ago. But there is no mistaking the sound- the master has been there. I may still have some scratches and gouges that show when people see me, but do they look past what they see, to hear what God has done?

Paul was a man who had endured much hardship in his lifetime. But I love what he shows us at the end of his life. He shows us a sweetness of spirit. He was gouged and scratched, but he rang out in beautiful praise to God. Just listen to the sweet words he says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

So, submit your life to hands of your Master in heaven, and let him bring that beautiful sound out of your life! God bless!


ruthrap said...

What a refresing message. Thank you, you made my day! sometimes i feel like your old guitar.....but i know there's hope and with faith and God's grace we can all be made new again!

PBM said...

You struck a chord in my heart with this. Thanks for sharing!

michigan preacher said...

Fitting choice of words, PBM! I struck a chord while talking about a guitar!

In all seriousness, I'm blessed that you all were blessed. I must admit, sometimes I wonder if my writing for the Lord is touching people. It's a blessing to me to know that it is indeed.

Thanks to you, and all who read for be a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff :)