About a month ago I had the good fortune to make a rare find in an antique mall.† As I rounded the corner of an aisle I saw it sitting on top of its caseÖ a vintage Harmony baritone ukulele.† I picked it up and soon saw that it was in mint condition.† There wasnít one scratch on it.† It was clear that this instrument had spent nearly all its life inside that case.† It even appeared to have the original strings on it.† I tuned it up and began strumming.† It sounded good, even with the old strings.† I checked the neckÖ it was in perfect tune all the way up.† I knew that it was worth more than the price being asked.†
It was clear that the seller didnít even know what he had his hands on because it was labeled ď4-string guitar.Ē† I bought it, put new strings on it and found that it almost plays itself.† It has a nice, happy sound.† My subsequent research and the paperwork in the case indicate that it was made sometime in the late 50ís to mid 60ís.† Itís been sitting in that case for close to 40 years waiting for someone to play it.† I leave it out where itís handy and when I walk by it, it just seems to invite me to pick it up and strum a few bars.
As I was playing it this morning I started thinking about how people are sometimes like that little baritone uke.† So many times, Satan keeps people locked in the darkness for years.† Without Christ in their lives, they live far below their potential because they are missing the very purpose for which they were created.† We were all created to worship and praise God, but the multitudes miss their very purpose for being.†
Sometimes even people who know the Lord are locked up inside the restrictive confines of low self-esteem, fear of failure, or some other devaluing thought pattern.† Mislabeled, they sit locked away, their music silenced.† It is tragic when Godís people live in defeat, missing the abundant life God planned for them to have; their spiritual gifts lie buried within them like neglected seeds, ready to spring forth in praise.† All that is needed is the touch of the Masterís hand.
As Godís people, we are called to play a role in His redemptive plan.† The great, gifted hymn writer, Fanny Crosby said it this way:
Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore.† Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that are broken will vibrate once more.† Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
We must be the loving hearts who touch those who have been crushed by the tempter.† It must be our kindness that wakens hope in the hearts of those who are broken.† As Godís people we must see through the eyes of Christ.† And when we see people we must realize that their true worth is far beyond the value the world has put on them.
You and I have the potential to change the world by touching the lives of others.† You can be a fountain of hope and encouragement to people who are dying for it.† You have the power to help put the music back in the lives of others.†
Only when weíre doing that for which we were created can we experience true fulfillment and lasting joy.† Donít be like my ukulele.† Get out of your case and then help others find the music in their lives.