The story is told of a mother who took her boy to a Paderewski concert, wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano.
After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "No Admittance."
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.
Suddenly the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with our heavenly Father.
What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy (no pun intended).
We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful, flowing music. With the hand of the Master, however, our life's work truly can be beautiful.
How is it with your life? Have you made some choices that seem to overwhelm you the more you live with them?
The steps you now take are tentative, faltering and uncertain. Your dreams for the future appear to be either receding or have completely vanished.
The songwriter said it this way: "Heartaches, take them all to Jesus. He will take your heartaches all away."
How is it with your marriage? Does it seem as though you are that little boy, and suddenly you are aware of the next-to-impossible task before you making a good marriage and home as well as your puny attempts to make it good.
Perhaps you have begun to think, "It's useless. I've been trying, and there seems to be no way to make it work. Maybe the best thing is to quit trying; to call the entire thing off."
Wait just a moment, please. If you will permit it, the "Master Musician" who has written a beautiful musical score for your life, including your marriage will place his arms around you, whisper encouraging words into your heart and ears and help make something truly wonderful out of your faltering and failure.
Jesus said, "Come to me, ye that labor and are heavy-laden ... I will give you rest."
Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."
Feel his loving arms around you. Know that his strong hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.
Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called.
And he'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things.
Chuck Thornton is associate pastor of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna. Sunday worship and Bible classes are at 9:30 and 11 a.m.
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