“O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”(1)
God abundantly blesses His children with good things to enjoy. Things that make the heart happy, so satisfying are His ways. Those who follow Him are very fortunate and favorably blessed, as Susan was. I never knew Susan personally, but she left an eloquent testimony of faith, love and devotion to her Lord.
While at a garage sale my husband and I browsed through a box of books. He handed me a small, leather Bible. On the front page of the Bible was written, “To Susan from Mother” dating 1988. I purchased it for 50 cents. When I returned home I glanced through the pages, I found many underlined Scriptures with tiny marks. Susan made small notes to show how she reasoned the interpretation in her own language to explain what was meaningful to her. I couldn’t help but wonder who was Susan? What happened to her, and why did they sell something so personal of hers, so cheap?
“It appeared Susan literally poured herself into this golden treasure. Upon turning the pages of these holy meditations, I could see that she must have had constant thoughts about God. Plenty of evidence in personal entries proved her love. Additional references neatly recorded in the margins revealed laborious hours of study. These Scriptures must have shaped her character! She must have been full to the brim and overflowing with the Lord, and His goodness. The evidence of her diligent study and markings showed her comprehension of the depth of Christ’s love and His sacrifice for sin. Proof given: Christ was her life! He was her all in all! Yet I paid 50 cents for what was a very vital part of her life. Why? This Bible was the precious Word to her – LIVING LIFE!
I was reminded of the betrayal of Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples and the cheap cost of Jesus life traded for a few coins. How could thirty pieces of silver cost our Lord and Savior everything, His life? There is no monetary cost that could compare to the worthiness of Christ and what He has done.
What about the man who sold me her Bible? Did he miss knowing the wondrous love of Jesus? Did he know those who believe in Christ will not be disappointed? It caused me to think about eternity and man’s frailty. Our lives are but a moment, but God is eternal. We are like a vapor that appears for a little while – then fade away…but God is never-ending.
As I held her bible, it easily fell opened to a Psalm. “The days of our lives are seventy years and if by reason of strength they are eighty years. Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow. For it is soon cut off and we fly away.” (2) In the margin she wrote, “Only one life & it will pass; only what’s done for Christ will last”. She was secure in Jesus’ love, whether in this life or the next. What about her family? Or others! What about you? Are you secure in Jesus’ love?
Some choose not to follow the Lord and don’t reverence Him as Lord of their lives. Their life may be out of tune, or perhaps worn and tarnished by pain or sin. Blinded, they can’t see or understand spiritual things…until one moment in time when they have a personal touched of a heavenly Father’s hand. God makes the change!
Wayne Watson wrote the lyrics of a song, “Touched by the Master’s Hand.” (3) He sings a song to illustrate the worth of a soul. The song conveys an old beaten violin that was undervalued. Items were being sold in an auction. Neglected and pushed aside was an old violin because its appearance was aged and scarred. Soon, the last item, the old violin was held up and the bids came in considerably low, proving its insignificant worth. In back of the crowd an elderly man walked up took the violin, wiped off the dust and began playing a beautiful pure melody. Only when the audience heard its purest sounds was the violin’s value appreciated. Afterwards, the auctioneer held up the old violin once again and the bids began. This time they bid higher and higher. Proof of the value of its worth! It changed the whole course of the bidding – now the violin sold for thousands of dollars. This caught the attention of the audience, who questioned “what was it that made the change?” It was told, “It was the touch of the Master’s hand.”
This simple song demonstrates how people are blind until God opens their eyes. Perhaps few people in Susan’s life fully understood her faith. However, I hold in my hands the witness of a Bible that was relentlessly read by a person who personally knew Jesus. Consider how the Holy Spirit transformed her inward soul by the many years of diligent study. She came to know the sweetness of God’s love. Susan must have known that happiness is not found in gathering many worldly things, status or fame, but in a deep abiding communion with her Savior. How about you? What are you gathering up for life? What are the important things in your life? Do you see the richness of savoring Jesus? Have you been touched by the Master’s hand?
I never met Susan yet God made provision for me to see the value of her faith in a different kind of way – by diligent study in a well-worn Bible. Someday, I will sing along side of her at the throne of grace to thank Jesus for how He saved us, and how He crossed our paths. Together we will magnify the Lordship of our King and Savior! All glory to Jesus for it is He which made the change – it was “One touch of a Master’s hand.”
1. Psalm 34:8 (nas)
2. Psalm 90: 10 (nkjv) 3. Wayne Watson, “How Time Flies,” CD