A few years ago while our family was visiting a dear couple they brought out a violin case and handed it to Allison, our budding violinist. It seems that this violin had been in their family a long time. Neither of them play, but this couple had the hopes that one of their grandchildren would and they could keep the instrument in the family. However, their dream was never realized. This family had learned that Allison was playing a violin that had been loaned to her and that she would need to return it at the end of her high school years. They shared with her that it was their desire to give it to her so it could be used. They hated the thoughts of it just sitting in the case wasting away. They weren’t sure of the value of the instrument, or even if it was usable, but wanted Allison to have it and look it over.
When Allison opened the violin case, it was obvious that the poor instrument hadn’t been played in years. One string dangled pitifully, the bridge was leaning like the Tower of Pisa, and the bow needed more than just a little rosin. We brought the violin home and contacted a violin repair man. Upon his inspection he told us that this was a very good violin and a valuable one – a Juzek, handmade in the 1920’s. A couple weeks of repairs and the violin was in great shape and now makes beautiful music because it’s in the hands of someone gifted with music!
Each of us who know Christ as our Savior are a little like that violin. There’s a gift inside waiting to come out. God gives us each spiritual gifts to use for Him the moment we’re saved. “Beautiful music” is waiting to be played for His honor simply by the offering up of our gifts He gives us. In Exodus 35:30-35 we read about the sanctuary being built and furnished. God had given very detailed instructions. Who would accomplish all this work? We read that Bezaleel had the spirit of wisdom and knowledge in workmanship so that he could devise cunning works in gold, silver and brass. He cut stones and carved wood. Others were given the gift to work with embroidery or weaving. It says that the children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, all whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
God equips each of us with what we need to be able to serve Him and further the work of the Kingdom. We’re not expected to be or do what someone else is or can do – we’re just to be faithful stewards with our gifts. They were not all woodworkers, nor all engravers. Each person was needed to accomplish the task at hand.
Your church is the same way; there is much to do, and God has equipped different people in that local assembly to be able to work there. What gifts has God given you? It might be the ability to organize. Perhaps you are an encourager. God can use your words – written or spoken to be a blessing to many. Do you have the gift of giving? Hospitality? Mercy?
Are you using your gift(s) in your local church, or are you hiding them away like the violin in the case? No gifts are too small. Take the abilities God has given out of its case, tighten up the strings and use it. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful music your service will bring!
Not all of us can preach God’s Word
Not all of us can sing,
I must admit that the violin
Is surely not my thing!
Not everyone’s a leader,
So many more are needed
To do the work behind the scenes
Until the plan’s succeeded.
The tasks may be simple
But if they’re done for the Lord,
Seeing His smile of approval
Will be the best reward.
So don’t compare the gifts you have
To those that seem exceeding,
For folks that are just faithful
Is what the Lord is needing.