There is an intriguing story of a famous violin crafted in 1731 by the world-renowned Antonio Stradivari. Shortly before Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, a young Jewish prodigy named Bronislaw Huberman put into motion a plan to gather Jewish musicians from all over Europe and create a musical presence in Palestine. In his efforts to raise funds, he played throughout the United States, and in February of 1936, performed at Carnegie Hall. During this concert, while playing his other violin during the second half of the show, the 1731 Stradivarius was stolen from his room. Having been stolen once before, it was recovered quickly when the thief attempted to sell the obviously valuable instrument. This time, however, Huberman was not as fortunate. The thief deemed himself a violinist and enjoyed playing on an instrument of such quality for parties and for a local orchestra. He blackened the beautiful face of the violin with shoe polish and kept his secret until his death bed fifty years later. It took nine months of restoration to unveil the original beauty of the valued instrument. Just before a collector bought it to display on a shelf, it was resold to the famous violinist, Joshua Bell, for a little under four million dollars. In the hands of Bell’s artistry, the violin yields the most beautiful sound, finally fulfilling the purpose for which it had been created some 300 years prior. https://csosoundsandstories.org/how-a-once-lost-stradivarius-found-its-way-to-joshua-bell/
This story so beautifully parallels the lives of us who are bought back from the bondage of sin to once again serve the purpose for which we are created. Our price demanded so much more than a mere four-million-dollar price tag, it cost Him the blood of His own dear Son. And He doesn’t just buy us back to restore us and place us on a shelf. Restored to the hand of the Chief Musician, yielded to His control, He cleans, tunes, and renews us with the purpose of allowing each of us to play the most beautiful sound for which we were created.
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:13-18
Yielded to Him, we simply allow Him to do with us as He wills. As He works, we turn our hearts over to Him in obedience. In my imagination, I see the strings tightening at the musician’s skillful turns. The stretching and pulling is uncomfortable, but necessary to tune the strings to play in harmony with the others. Not just once, but daily, the strings will be adjusted and compared to the correct tone, so that the instrument will play in harmony alone, and also with the entirety of the orchestra. Daily, we renew our mind in His Word, stretching to fulfill the command of His Word, conforming to the “sounds” of our Savior.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2
YIELD, verb intransitive
1. To give up the contest; to submit.
2. To comply with; as, I yielded to his request.
3. To give way; not to oppose. http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/yield
While tuning is important in music, tempo is equally important. A conductor must evaluate and interpret the intention of the written music’s composer. Some measures will move slowly, proceed into a nearly impossible speed, and eventually, end in a rest. Each musician watches the conductor carefully, so that the beauty of the composer’s message will be conveyed clearly. In much the same way, God created a gorgeous symphony long before any instruments were crafted, and the message He wants to convey will have various rhythms and tempos. He alone knows the scope of the whole arrangement. If we are yielded to His musicianship, our part will be played intentionally within His timing. His understanding of the entire composition allows us to be content with His adagios, with His allegros, with His rests. He has perfect understanding of how each season fits within His symphony. How sweet it is to remember that I am only His instrument, and that He is the Musician.
Eventually, there comes an end to every great symphony. The last note is played, the musicians take their final bow, and the curtains close. No life lasts forever. When the final tone ceases, there will be no audience but One from whom we seek approval. It is the Chief Musician who will evaluate every single note played.
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
At the close of our lives, when we stand before our Chief Musician and He views the scope of our part played, how will He find our performanceour service?
I enjoyed the picture that C.S. Lewis’ presented in “The Weight of Glory.”
“I suddenly remembered that no one can enter heaven except as a child; and nothing is so obvious in a child—not in a conceited child but in a good child—as its great and undisguised pleasure in being praised. And that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will no room for vanity then…With no taint of what we should now call self-approval she will most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made her to be. In the end that Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised.”
As we look toward that day, as we consider the joy of pleasing the One who so skillfully created us to bring Him glory, let us take up our place in the symphony and wholly yield ourselves into the hands of our Chief Musician. Every instrument is necessary in His composition, and no part is too small. Let every moment of our song bring Him glory. Have a wonderful week, my friends!