This week was a trying week... there was a lot to take in: a heavy diagnosis with one of the kids, a heavy diagnosis with a dear friend, temper tantrums that won't quit, a terrible test result- you know, life.
Jimmy and I had a serious discussion about the next steps to take and have planned a family counsel this evening. I went to church with a heavy heart this morning. Then, the speakers at church spoke right to me. Directly to my pain and anguish. It was refreshing. As I sat listening, I knew I was a daughter of God. I knew I was loved by Him. One of the speakers talked about how Heavenly Father's grace is sufficient. That Jesus Christ doesn't fill the gaps- He is in it all, there are no gaps. There is not a score kept in that we are two points shy of making it into heaven. The analogy the speaker chose helped me to understand this principle so much better. It's like a mother paying for piano lessons. The price is paid in full regardless of how well the student does. All the practice in the world is not paying back the mother for the money she spent for lessons. But the diligence in practicing is a show of appreciation for what the student has been given.
Our salvation has been 'paid in full' by the Savior. What we do with this life is our appreciation, respect and love for Him.
There is a story that I hold dear to my heart that goes hand in hand with this analogy. I have shared the story before, but I would like to share it again:
[This is] the story of a young piano student. His mother, wishing to encourage him, bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.
Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’
His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.
In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’
And so, our lessons have been paid for, let's all practice and keep playing.