I wish I was in California today! The Bluegrass Boys will be playing at Julie and David’s church and I would love to be there to hear them perform. Oh—there may have been other groups by that name, but I guarantee you’ve never heard these Boys. And they’re not really bluegrass—more like Southern Gospel—thank goodness! I’m not a big fan of bluegrass, although I do like Southern Gospel music. Nevertheless, at the moment, the Bluegrass Boys are my favorite group—because three of the five Boys are my grandsons, Benjamin, Joshua and James!
They will be singing “I’ll Fly Away” tonight. James and Joshua play guitar with their friend Roy, Benjamin will be on the fiddle (last time, when they played “The Lily of the Valley,” he played the harmonica) and their other friend Caleb will play the banjo. I would so love to be there. David said he will record it for me, though, so I will happily settle for that. I am sure they will be amazing!
It’s so fun to see our grandchildren develop talents and gifts we never knew they had. Some of the lids are very musical and play a wide variety of instruments. Anastasia and Hannah made beautiful quilts this summer. Others are into rock climbing, surfing and so on. It remains to be seen what passions the little ones will develop. I just pray that with all these other things, they all will grow to have a love and zeal and passion for the Lord.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook usually, but once and a while I’ll see a little story or video that someone has posted that catches my interest. I saw one this week that I enjoyed and passed along to a couple of my Facebook “friends.” It was about an 81 year old man who walked into a music shop in Tennessee and picked up a guitar. What came forth as he began to play amazed everyone in the store. Someone grabbed their camera and recorded it. (If you would like to see the video for yourself you will find it at http://qpolitical.com/this-81-year-old-picked-up-a-guitar-seconds-later-my-jaw-dropped/ )
I showed the video to Bob and when we finished listening to the beautiful Spanish-style song he said, “You can tell that man was probably a professional musician at one time. He is a master at the guitar.”
His remark got me to thinking about our grandsons and their love for playing their instruments. It will be many years before they will be true masters of the caliber that the old man was, but if they continue to be enthusiastic and practice, practice, practice, I have no doubt they can excel at whatever they put their hands to do.
Bob’s comment also reminded me of an old poem I heard many years ago—and I’m sure you’ve probably heard it also. It is called “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried, “Who starts the bidding for me?” “One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?” “Two dollars, who makes it three?” “Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
But, no, From the room far back a gray bearded man Came forward and picked up the bow, Then wiping the dust from the old violin And tightening up the strings, He played a melody, pure and sweet As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer With a voice that was quiet and low, Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?” As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?” “Two thousand, Who makes it three?” “Three thousand once, three thousand twice, Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered, But some of them cried, “We just don’t understand.” “What changed its’ worth?” Swift came the reply. “The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune All battered and bruised with hardship Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, A game and he travels on. He is going once, he is going twice, He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes, And the foolish crowd never can quite understand, The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– by Myra Brooks Welch
I am proud of my grandchildren for working hard at developing their talents and gifts. Maybe someday they will become masters at whatever they set their hands to do. There is only One, however, who can truly turn their lives—or yours and mine—into the beautiful masterpieces that He intends them to be.
He is the Master Creator — Psalm 139: 13, 14 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” God created us in His image and proclaimed His work “very good”–marvelous, in fact! Sin, however, ruined that masterpiece; marred it and scarred it, and set it on the path to destruction. The Master Creator-Designer did not give up on His ruined creation, though, and throw it out on the trash heap. No–He had a plan.
He is the Master Restorer – In order to restore us back to the masterpiece He had created, He had to redeem us. That is why He sent His Son Jesus to shed His blood so that we might be saved from sin. Titus 2:14 says, “Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” It was the perfect plan, calling for a perfect sacrifice—the sinless blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:14, 22b tells us, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? …and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
He is the Master Molder – It is true, when we trust in Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven. The final redemption does not take place, however, until we stand before Him in our new and glorified bodies. In the meantime, we will still, on this earth, do battle with our old sin natures and bear the consequences of sin. He does not leave us alone, though, to fight those battles on our own. When we submit our wills to God and allow Him to work in our lives, we find that He is molding us into His image once again. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Submission to the Master Molder is the key in His work in our lives. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. (James 4:7, 8a, 10)
He is the Master Refiner – The masterpiece must sometimes go through the refiner’s fire to come forth shining as gold. I Peter 1:7 says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Just as He molds us, the Master must sometimes allow us to go through testing and trials to strengthen and polish us for our own benefit—but also for His glory. We don’t enjoy testing and trials, but do not be afraid of it. The Master allows it for our good because He loves us. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
He is the Master Finisher – The Master wants each of His creations to be restored unto Him. He wants the work of His hands to be molded and strengthened and polished into the image of Christ. The final touch of the Master’s hand will be when He finishes His work once and for all, giving us our glorified bodies to live with Him for all eternity. No longer will we battle sin. No longer will we struggle with the effects of sin—sorrow and pain, decaying bodies, broken relationships… Hebrews 12:2 says, “ … looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” The final touch of the Master’s hand will be the ultimate, perfect culmination of His plan. And all we have to do is submit to His loving touch in our lives.