Frances and I did something today quite rare for us. We conducted a service without my guitar.
Before we left the house for the meeting, I cut grass, and also cut it pretty close schedule-wise. I came into the house in a hurry, departed in a bigger rush, and halfway to the meeting realized I had left home without my musical friend (not Frances, the guitar!). "Well, we'll be leading hymns acapella today" I said, and we did. Things went well actually, and don't tell my instrument this, but I think the people actually enjoyed doing things a bit differently (especially since they were able to hear Frances's voice even better than usual).
All this make me think winsome thoughts about my guitar, a ten year old Taylor 310. It's been with us in more than 3,000 services through the years, and continues to perform very well. It stays in tune, frets well, and has such beautiful tone and resonance that even when I hit a wrong note, I don't think many people notice (hope not anyway). I consider my guitar as a friend that would be one of the first objects I'd want to save if our house caught fire. I am truly grateful for this blessing, so much so that while thinking of this, I prayed for the gentleman who long ago sold the Taylor to me (who, the last I heard, was doing mission work in China).
All this make me think of faithfulness and availability. Never once in ten years has my guitar failed to present itself to my hands and heart, as needed and desired. Today was not the Taylor's fault, but rather resulted from the forgetfulness of its owner. Under normal circumstances, the instrument seems to echo the prophet's devotion to God, "Here am I. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8). The guitar stands ready always, so long as I take care of it and transport it to the venues where its services are required. I seek to use it for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the blessing of people, and my instrument faithfully performs its purpose and reason for being. Indeed, I have no doubt that more than a decade ago, the Holy Spirit led the builders of the guitar in constructing an object of wood and steel whose whole, by the grace of God, constitutes far more than the sum of its parts. "Here am I. Send me…"
I hope never to forget my guitar again. I also hope to be as faithful to it as it is to me. I also desire to follow its example by growing in faithfulness to the God who always acts in perfect fidelity and devotion to us. No day should pass in our lives wherein we do not in some manner affirm to our Heavenly Father, "Here am I. Send me." As we often suggest in these messages, a big part of life and devotion to the Lord Jesus involves simply showing up. That is, we come to the throne of grace day by day in the attitude of presenting ourselves to God for His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ. We show up at the throne to be sent forth from the throne. My musical friend exemplifies such truth, and I will seek to more consistently follow the example it speaks to me, or rather, sings to me.
"Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Weekly Memory Verse
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
(I Timothy 6:6)