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What a day it was! And what a ceremony! I never thought in my right mind that I would have ever been nominated for the "Oldies But Goodies, Most Popular Instrumental" award, much less having received it. As usual, the food was sparse and the drinks tepid at this annual get-together awards banquet.
I quickly forgot the sketchy food arrangement however, the moment my name was called. And oh yes, all my friends sitting at my table even got up to give me a big hug.
What a song! I'm so proud my version of this one song is what made my award possible, especially when I wasn't the original singer. It must have been my piano rendition, even though no lyrics were spoken. I can still recall our original concert hall performance. The backup band was so great. Sorry they weren't able to make the ceremony. Well, enough reminiscing; let me just get some sleep and dream about it all. Back to the salt mine tomorrow. I trust my old piano is in tune for my next great performance. You see there's no conceit in my family, for I've got it all.
Then it happened. Suddenly, without warning I found myself back stage getting ready to give a repeat performance of my hit instrumental, when I heard a knock on my dressing room door. "This surely is surprising. Why is the press here so early, I've not even performed yet," I wondered.
It was a bizarre-looking character, just appearing out of nowhere. He must have been from a costume party, because he is all decked out in Bible garb.
"Who are you and why are you here?" I exclaimed.
Then he started immediately. Without delay, he pulled out an old tattered Bible from beneath his cloak. "This Bible surely looks familiar," I thought.
He then began reading. "Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. Selah." (Psalm 52:1-3)
He then made a rather odd comment. "I see you just received an award. Do you actually believe in the lyrics of this award-winning song? Do you really mean that song? Do you not accept God’s sovereignty?" he went on, reading again from his old tattered Bible. (Psalm 135:6)
"There's something odd about that old Bible," I thought, reflecting again over the past. I just couldn't shake it. "It's my sixth sense. I don't rightly know who you are, but you're not going to get to me, not on this special performance night," I thought.
Being a Bible scholar myself, I'm not going to let him take away the pride of my piano playing, if that in fact is his motive.
So I responded by asking for his Bible. Then I started to read from (Acts 17:24-26), which instantly, and seeming providentially came to mind from my last church Bible study.
Then I commented to him, "With all the scandals and destruction in our world today, it's just getting harder to reconcile the Biblical truth with this evidence around us. I can't help but have a little cynicism. You see, nowadays people do not think too highly of religion. And if you happen to be familiar with our culture, you are probably having the same feeling. Sometimes there is no other apparent explanation of what is happening around the world."
In answering back, referring to Scripture after Scripture, he seemed to have the right answers. "Wow, he really knows his Bible. He surely should have been a preacher," I thought.
However, he just didn't give up. He continued his seemly sermon. "The Scripture teaches that according to God's sovereignty all things are under His control and command and nothing happens outside of His divine permission. (Ephesians 1:11) His purposes are all-inclusive. (Isaiah 46:11). Thus, nothing takes Him by surprise. (Daniel 2:19-23) Regardless of our intentions, whatever will be, will be, according to God's eternal will for our lives."
"Wait just a cotton pickin' minute, just give me time to jot down these verses," I yelled out in dismay, continuing my thinking. Again, I thought, "No one is going to take away this night, for I've waited half a lifetime for this special moment."
It just seemed as if he would not shut up, as he continued. "This includes the good and bad deeds of individuals. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to affect all happenings, but that He does so always and without exception for the best of all concerned."
"So are you saying I need give back my award for this song? Nothing doing!" I concluded.
Then, without receiving an answer, I looked around and he was gone. He was nowhere in sight.
"Wow, how did he get through the door, as the door was never opened?" I wondered.
"A bizarre happening, to say the least", I thought, "I only hope I can keep my mind on this performance tonight."
I do remember waking up oddly enough, to the playing of my award-winning song. And as I listened to the words of the song, I realized that this odd looking character might have just been right all along.
It was then that I started my soul searching, looking for the possible reality of God's sovereignty. I know it's all a matter of faith. And as a believer, I must cling to my faith. You see, God bids us come to Him in faith. (Hebrews 11:1, 6) So after some deep thought with my limited knowledge of His flawless attributes, I made the decision of , my life, and my future. (Ephesians 1:11) I do accept the fact that He is waiting for me to turn to Him with my fears and doubts in order that He may comfort my soul.
But wait, what about that old tattered Bible this strange character was reading? Did he take it with him in his weird disappearance? Then it happened again. For sitting on my table, beside my record player, was the Bible. Now I know, that's Mom's old Bible. "How in God's Name did he get it, and how did it get on my table?" I silently questioned in my mind.
As I picked up Mom's Bible a written note drifted to the floor. Picking up the note, I started to read.
'One need only turn to the declaration of His inspired word (II Timothy 3:16), which in actuality is Him speaking to us in this modern day environment, in order that we may receive the assurance of His sovereign grace. His free grace not only saves us (Ephesians 2:8-9), but it keeps us as well. (II Timothy 1:9) God actually does care for our concerns in this world. As He spoke to Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 29:13), so will He speak to us, His children. So congratulations, my son. Enjoy your award. Just feast on your singing talent and not on the truth of the song lyrics.'
So what did I do next? I gave a big Hallelujah shout, as I placed my trophy on the mantle. And at the same time I packed away my award-winning 45 rpm record, never again to be played.
Now a personal note: As a teen, being active in my church was sure a treat, for our church was heavily in favor of young people. Each year our division, which consisted of several states, would have a weekend young people's council. Friday night was a fun night with spiritually-related presentations such as skits and musical performances. Then, Sunday morning was the more spiritual service of consecration.
I remember one Sunday service in Florida. The head of the churches' Southern states, who was a gifted speaker in his own right, gave the message which was built around the then-popular song "Que Sera Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be."
He led the congregation in the singing of the song as an illustration, and then his sermon was built around the song's lyrics. What a powerful message! It's been over a half century, but I'll never forget that message as long as I live. This fine old saint of God is now in Glory, but I'm sure he remembers his well-accepted message.
The Song Chorus:
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.
Yes, whatever will be, will be, as long as it's God's sovereign plan for one's life.
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