Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places…

An Old Teapot, Tarnished and Blackened!


A Life Tarnished and Out of Tune!

Life’s lessons can come from unexpected places…

I like thrift stores. I normally go to look for books but once in a while something else will catch my eye. One day an old looking, tarnished, blackened silver teapot fell into my sights. It was close to our 25th wedding anniversary, and it was a good deal. After a little mental gymnastics I decided to lay out the cash, trusting it would polish up.

As I drove home, I glanced at my purchase. It didn’t look good. I had second thoughts. Had I made a mistake? I wondered where it had originally come from and then what homes it had traveled through on its way to ending up in a second hand store…

At home, I pulled out the silver polish and started the task of getting rid of the black exterior. Anticipation grew with each rub and stroke of work. To my wonder, my hopes of revealing its true beauty were realized. From a tarnished, blackened mess emerged a beautiful treasure. I could see my reflection in it now, and the sun made it gleam as the light bounced off its shiny, clean face.

This old silver teapot made me reflect on how God views our lives.

He sees the mess, the tarnish and blackness, as well as each step in the journey. Every mark, each coat of disuse or neglect– He knows it all. He paid a great price for us, even when it was obvious that our outward beauty was marred. His son died on a cross to pay the purchase price for each one of us. He knows our value, with no second thoughts on whether he should have paid so much.

Unlike my silver teapot, we have to be willing to have our tarnish rubbed off. The price has been paid but the transaction is not complete until we are willing to submit to the gentle hands of the master to begin his work.

Sadly some think they have to remove the blackened tarnish on their own before they would somehow qualify to be God’s possession.

As impossible as it would be for my silver teapot to clean itself, so it is with our lives. The true beauty of God’s creation can never be realized without His deliberate cleansing and gentle work in our lives.

When we become his possession he begins the process to bring out the beauty of His character in our lives. His work produces the unmistakable beauty of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Think for a moment, “What a difference would be made in your life and the lives of others around you if these characteristics were evident in your life?”

Years ago when I felt my life was in a bit of a mess I came across the poem, The Touch of the Master’s Hand by Myra Brooks Welch:

‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. “What am I bidden, good folk,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar;” then, “Two! Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; going for three…” but no, from the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” and he held it up with the bow. “A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who will make it three? Three thousand, once; three thousand twice, and going and going, and gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply; “The touch of the master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game and he travels on. He is “going” once, and “going” twice, he’s “going” and almost “gone.” But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.

I was once tired of the mess of my life, which was tarnished and out of tune.

I knew I needed the touch of God’s hand, and I cried out to God. I asked Him to use his touch in my life.

In fact, now it is a daily request. I have realized, on my own, I will never be what I long to be. I was not made to go through life without God’s touch. Just as a glove has no purpose without a hand, my life lacks its ultimate purpose without God.

You may be like me and have realized your need for the touch of the Master. If so, I suggest that you pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savor and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.

If you prayed and invited Christ into your life just now, you can be sure he came in. The moment you invite Christ into your life by faith, many things happened including the following:

Christ came into your life.
Your sins are forgiven.
You became a child of God.
You received eternal life.

You began the great adventure for which God created you!!!

Or you might be saying, “I have opened my heart to Christ before.” If that is the case, He is still there with you but you need to once again put Him in the driver’s seat of your life. If that is the case, I suggest this prayer of surrender:

Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as you commanded me to be filled , and as You promised in Your Word that you would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The prayer of inviting Christ into your life is only needed once but the prayer of surrender should be a daily prayer, or in some cases, even more than hourly. Sometimes even minute by minute. The point is that as we surrender to God’s gentle touch in our lives He will tune or polish so that his beauty will be seen in us!

by Mike Woodard
used by permission

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