“Take a harp…play skillfully and make sweet
melody…that you may be remembered.”
(Is. 23:16 AMP)
Suddenly taken ill, a renowned harpist was rushed to the hospital. While tests were being run to find the cause of his illness, he lay in his hospital bed, reminiscing over his life.
Seeing himself as a young boy, he remembered his dreams of becoming a famous harpist, even though his family was poverty stricken and could not afford even one string of a harp or music lessons.
Each day, after school, on his way to one of his many odd jobs, he stopped at the local music shop to quickly thumb through the catalogs of instruments, envisioning the day of owning a harp from what little money he saved.
He became great friends with the shop owner who took pity on him and allowed him to purchase, piece by piece, all the parts necessary to make a harp. Each new string added a new dimension of hope to his life.
After many years, he had all the parts and the shop owner assembled the beautiful harp for him. The shop owner’s wife, a music teacher, offered him free lessons, and, under her tutelage, he became an accomplished, well-known harpist in a very short time, thus fulfilling the purpose for his life. He was loved and admired by all.
As he laid there thinking about his life, he remembered the many setbacks and hardships he had suffered. His mother and father, as missionaries in a foreign land, were killed by natives. His sister, whom he loved dearly, was killed in a car accident. World War II took the life of his only son. After many years of marriage, his wife left him for someone else. Now, he was fighting for his life – alone.
As each trial took its toll on his life, he laid his harp aside. Yet, after each respite, he resumed his music, playing his beloved harp more beautifully than before. Each occurrence in his life brought more enthusiastic reviews from the critics.
Now, while lying in his hospital bed, depressed and having no desire to live, he asked the Lord why so many trying things had occurred in his life.
The Lord whispered to him, “You constructed your beloved harp from its many pieces with great love. For it to make its beautiful melodies, much effort and practice time was necessary. To keep it in tune, you tightened its strings every now and then.
“This is as your life, for it was put together with great love. Each sorrow, each disappointment, each heartache added a new string to your life. Each event was part of the process to tighten you and transform your life’s music. It was your choice whether it would be played in harmony or in discord. All prepared you to make beautiful melodies, each as a sweet praise to the Great Instrument Maker.”
After the review of his life, the great harpist rested back on his pillow, satisfied and comforted. He closed his eyes, content that he would awaken the next morning to play sweet melodies of praise to his Master – on his harp of many strings.
***Hope you don’t mind one pulled from the archives!