The ‘willing heart’ I wrote about yesterday has shared the history behind the Gibson guitar. You don’t want to miss this! What a blessing!
Soli Deo Gloria!
My wife and I well remember our church choir singing, God Will Make A Way. That’s the day we surrendered to God’s call. For the previous five years I’d served as senior pastor of a busy congregation but was struggling with a decision to become a church planter in another state.
Any move was frightening considering we had three children (yes, God has a sense of humor). More hesitation came because I was promised less than $4,000 year in salary and that was only for the first two years. This would definitely be a step of faith.
Not long after our decision and commitment, while praying I said to the Lord, “I wish I could still play a guitar.” Six years before, I had severed the end of my ring finger on my left hand and had it surgically reattached. Although an avid guitar player, a bone fragment made pressing guitar strings excruciatingly painful. In 1994, I sold all my guitars, including a unique and beautiful Gibson Blue Ridge.
Shortly after that prayer, I walked by our Youth Pastor’s office and spotted his guitar in a corner. On a whim, I walked in and picked it up. To my surprise, I played it without pain. I knew God had performed a miracle! A day or two later I called a friend who owned a music store and told him where we were going and what had happened. He offered to sell me an entry-level guitar at his cost, and again, I rejoiced. The following Monday, however, something else happened that bolstered my faith even more and confirmed our call to church planting.
While eating lunch at home, my friend who owned the music store called and said, “I know you have a thing for Gibson guitars. I have a deal for you.” He explained he was selling a 1974 Gibson J-50 Deluxe on consignment and had listed it the night before on Ebay but there had been no bids. He told me the Blue Book value was over $1500 at the time and if I wanted it, I could have it for $500 unless someone placed a bid. To be honest, I wanted that guitar but I declined the offer. We were on a tight budget. Saving money for our move was a higher priority.
My wife saw the disappointment on my face and asked what was wrong. I explained to her about the Gibson and my “grownup” decision. She surprised me a little when she said, “You know, if God wants you to have that guitar, He will provide.” I thought, “Yeah, right. Why would God want me to have that Gibson guitar?”
A little while later, in my office at the church, my secretary called and said I had a visitor. One of our older members, a recent widower, dropped by. We sat down at my table and he said, “I don’t know why, but God told me to give this to you.” He placed a check face down on the table and slid it across to me. I turned it over and – you guessed it – it was written to me for $500. I said to my visitor, “I guess God wants me to have that Gibson guitar.”
Now it’s time to let that guitar go. One of our young men feels called to do missions and is raising money to be part of a ROW team. That Gibson was given to me for missions and it seems fitting that it be sold to invest in someone else’s first calling to mission work.
And, I am happy to say during 4 and a half years of serving in the other state, we never missed a bill or a meal. God will make a way!