In me... peace (John 16:33).
There is a vast difference between
happiness and blessedness. Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice
and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was
blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of
those very conditions.
Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and
made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was
something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw
that it was not his famous and valuable one. He
felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them
there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He
stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had
left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old
second-hand one in its place.
He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said, "Ladies
and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument,
but in the soul." And he played as he had never played before; and out
of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the
audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted
the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that
music was not in the machine but in his own soul.
It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of
this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in
conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life
is in your own soul.
If peace be in the heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows the 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 the heart.
--Charles Francis Richardson
-Streams in the Desert, for September 28th