Monday, 19 May 2014


'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 with bourbon and gin
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.
~Myra Brooks Welch

I read this poem the other night when I was just messing around on the internet and it really brought out and revealed to me God's unfailing love for us and God's mind blowing grace. If we think about the violin, it is like us. We were worth pretty much nothing, we were battered, far from God and full of sin, going for merely a dollar. But then God came along into our lives and told society and ourselves that we were worth so much more. That he is our master and he has designed us perfectly. With the touch of his hand on our lives, we were transformed. We were transformed into sons and daughters of God, forgiven for the state we'd let ourselves get into and just like the violin we where tuned again to make a beautiful sound. And that sound in our lives is the sweet sound of the father's presence in our hearts. It is the sweet sound of what God did and continues to do for us.

Ephesians 2:8-10
 For it is by Grace that you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from your selves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no-one can boast. For we are God's handy work, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'

If you just sit for a while and think about how despite all our sins, God's love for us is so vast and so deep and so wide, it is never ending. It's pretty incredible that he loves us so much that he was willing to send his only, beloved son to die a death on a cross that really should be our death. This alone is mind blowing, because we live in a world where we are surrounded by revenge and the idea of Grace is rarely present and that is why it is so mind blowing and incredible that God loved us, broken and full of sin. He loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice his only son. Willing to spend the time to re-tune us so we could sing a new song.

And then I think about how God shows us Grace in our daily goings on. When we feel like we fall short of God, God goes 'Hey I forgive you, I'm not going to love you anymore or any less. My love for you is like an overflowing cup it just keeps pouring out on to you, nothing you do will gain any more love and nothing you do will make me love you any less.'

Ephesians 3 v 19
'And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.'

Even though we know of Gods great everlasting love, I think you'll agree with me here, that when we are faced with trials and are walking in what may feel like the deep valley, sometimes we find ourselves question God's love.

'If God loves me why would he put me through this?'

But when we are faced with trials I think we should take things right back to the truths that God has gifted to us and what he did for us, because he loves us. And to remember that it is in these trials that God tests us, teaches us and prepares us to be who he wants us to be to complete his will.

Ephesians 10
'For we are God's handy work, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'

We are trialed because if we were always on the mountain top then how would we reach the next destination, the next thing God has in store for us? We can't just fly to the next mountain peak,  though sometimes I do wish I could fly - that would be insanely cool, but then again if I could fly I would miss out on the depths of the valley, the moments where God prepares me for the next thing he has in store for me. I think this is brilliantly described in an excerpt  from the 'Tramp for the Lord - by Corrie ten Boom'

"Think with me here...everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you'll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what's a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination-our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life's next peak.'

If you think about when you're at the top of a mountain and you look out at everything below you, there is a joy that forms because you are thankful that, firstly you actually made it to the top with out dying - congratulations haha - but also the fact that there is a deep joy within your soul because it is then that you realize that all the struggle it took to get up to the top was definitely worth it. Because well, the view is simply beautiful. But we do not learn anything, we just gain joy from reaching the top.
I think we should remember that joy we feel at the top when we find ourselves in the valley. That excitement when we view how beautiful the next mountain is, how glorious and promising it looks with the sun reflecting on the snow and all that it has to offer. And if we remember that God is never going to put us through anything that is going to harm us.

In Jeremiah 29:11 it states,
'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

And this is true, so shouldn't we have faith in God's plans? That he has everything aced? Everything aced from the highest mountain top to the deepest valley and to the darkest shadows we find ourselves in.

In Thessalonians 5 v 16 it says,

'Rejoice always, Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for it is God's will for you in Christ Jesus'

Rejoice always... pretty challenging ae, challenging because always means..

- at all times, at any rate,  in any event.

So this means that I should rejoice even when I find my self in the struggle? In the times where  I honestly feel like I am in the deepest valley? Because God is putting me through these things and his plan is to... 'prosper me and not to harm me' he is preparing me to complete his will.. his next mountain top.

"God has a perfect plan for our lives, but he cannot move us to the next step until we joyfully accept our present situation as part of that plan." - Anonymous

'You can go on thinking that the situation is controlled by the devil - and by your lack of faith in God’s supreme power make it difficult for Him to work out His perfect plan, or you can believe that God is at work, thanking Him for everything and thereby release His power to work in your life.'

It's like Ken was talking about on Sunday, about having faith. As soon as we doubt we seem to lose the faith we have in God's plan on our life, faith that he has everything aced and when we doubt, we miss out on so many opportunities God has in store for us.

'Try to accept with your understanding that God does love you and has allowed those circumstances because he knows they are good for you. Praise Him for what He has brought into your life; do it deliberately and with your understanding.' -Anonymous

This is still something I'm still learning and God is teaching me and revealing to me, because it is something we, you, I,  have to daily remind ourselves of, to be thankful in everything. Wow.

Because it is challenging. It's so different from society and the way the world portrays to live, where the world says to feel sorry for the hardship you are going through God says  'Praise, thank me and be joyful in everything thing I put you through. Where the world says to show revenge and pay back; 'God's Grace is present and it blows our minds that despite everything we've done God still loves us unconditionally and for eternity'. Where love is uncertain amongst people; 'God's love is forever and will never end.' It is amazing to have these things to focus on. When the world says one thing and we find that the trials are pulling us away from God, we can look towards what God says to us and we can rejoice because we have a father who cares for us and who will never leave us. That is an incredible thought.

And so I shall leave you with the wise words of Martin Luther,

“Blessed is he who submits to the will of God; he can never be unhappy. Men may deal with him as they will…he is without care; he knows ‘all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” ~ Martin Luther

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