A broken instrument makes matchless music

By Dave Henning / December 29, 2019

“It takes a special skill to bring music out of a broken instrument, and the one who does deserves recognition and glory.  God is that one.  God is the one who finds incomparable beauty and makes matchless music using the most unexpected and unlikely of instruments.”- Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing

“What do you have that God hasn’t given you?  And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?”- 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

In Chapter 7 (“What If . . . You Struggle with a Disability?”) of What If . . . God Has Other Plans?, Charles Swindoll applies God’s Word to times when you face a serious health issue.  Pastor Swindoll first talks about Paul, the ‘apostle of grace.’  Pastor Swindoll observes that Paul’s weakness and inadequacy defined his greatness.  Thus, Paul’s greatness didn’t result from giftedness, great intellect, or training by impressive mentors.

Thanks to the excruciating pain of his thorn, Paul learned the sufficiency of God’s grace.  However, over the years, Pastor Swindoll has found three types of people who appear extremely self-sufficient.  Such people are:

  1. highly intelligent – easy for such a person to appear clever, competent, and confident
  2. greatly gifted – people who excel as artists, musicians, writers, composers, etc.
  3. deeply religious – they exude great faith and a broad knowledge of God

Yet, thorny trials and test can bring us to a place of complete dependence on God.  But, that’s a truth some people never learn.  Those who do, though, become remarkable individuals.

In conclusion, violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) once experienced a thorny trial while playing a difficult piece of music.  During this particularly memorable performance, one by one three of his four strings broke.  Thus, he completed the difficult composition using only one string.  And then, to the amazement of the conductor and the audience, Paganini played his scheduled encore.  Pastor Swindoll adds: “God uses broken instruments to make remarkable music.”

Today’s question: How has God used your broken instrument to make matchless music?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Crucible of weakness – divine power realized”

About the author

Dave Henning

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