There is a vast difference between pleasure and blessedness.
Paul experienced imprisonment, pain, sacrifice, and suffering
to their very limits, yet through it all he was blessed. All the
beatitudes became real in his heart and life, in the midst of his
Paganini, the great Italian violinist, once stepped onstage only
to discover there was something wrong with his violin, just as the
audience was ending their applause. He looked at the instrument
for a moment and suddenly realized it was not his best and most
valuable one. In fact, the violin was not his at all. Momentarily
he felt paralyzed, but he quickly turned to his audience, telling
them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own
violin.He stepped back behind the curtain,thinking he must have
left it backstage, but discovered that someone had stolen his and
left the inferior one in its place.
After remaining behind the curtain for a moment, Paganini
stepped onstage again to speak to the audience. He said, “Ladies
and Gentlemen, I will now demonstrate to you that the music
is not in the instrument but in the soul.” Then he played as
never before, and beautiful music flowed from that inferior
instrument until the audience was so enraptured that their
enthusiastic applause nearly lifted the ceiling of the concert hall.
He had indeed revealed to them that the music was not in his
instrument but in his own soul!
Dear tested and tried believer, it is your mission to walk onto
the stage of this world in order to reveal to all of heaven and
earth that the music of life lies not in your circumstances or
external things but in your own soul.
If peace be in your heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows your path of duty,
Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
If peace be in your heart.
Charles Francis Richardson