Almost daily for the past couple of months I’ve endeavored to encourage and counsel many struggling with the threat of the coronavirus. Fear and uncertainty cloud our focus and hope. What seemed so routine only a few months ago would be a welcome experience for those of us wondering if today’s shopping, or excursion to the post office, or delivering food to an elderly neighbor could thrust us into a life-changing pandemic.
I’m reminded of a story that might help us cope with today’s challenges. I first heard it from Chuck Swindoll, during a conference at Mt. Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about the great violinist Niccolo Paganini, who was performing with a full orchestra one evening before a packed concert hall.
As he began the final piece one of the strings on his violin snapped. In his genius, Paganini was able to continue playing the piece on the remaining three strings.
A moment later, a second string snapped. Still, Paganini continued playing the concerto on the remaining two strings.
And then, a third string snapped, but still Paganini continued. He finished the piece, note for note, with one string on his violin.
When the performance was over, the crowd rose in thunderous applause.
Paganini, ever the humble musician, raised his violin and boldly proclaimed, “Paganini and one string!” He cued the conductor, the orchestra began to play, and he performed his encore, note for note, with one string on his violin.
The time may come when you feel like you’re down to one string — when your marriage is down to one string, or your financial future is down to one string, or your hope is down to one string… and you know you’re no Paganini.
Here’s the good news.
One string is enough. God’s grace is that amazing. His mercy is that plentiful, His bounty and provisions that great, His power that invincible, His love, that unstoppable.
If you feel like one string is all you have left — and maybe it’s about to snap — it’s time to stop and let God do in your life what only he can do.
Embrace Scriptures like: As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. (Psalm 55:16)
How can you apply the following in trusting God today? Psalm 147:3; Jeremiah 30:17; Mark 5:35–36.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.