Estelle Smith - The Mouthpiece Weak - Durban, South Africa Convention

I think that we all feel useless; we all feel small, unworthy, incapable. The last couple of days a few lines of a hymn has been going through my mind each time when I thought of this meeting, "We, a mouthpiece weak, uttering things divine."

 

This year, I thought a little about the mouthpiece of wind instruments - it was rather a lovely thought to me. I don't know too much about it but I understand that the mouthpiece is the personal possession of the player. It's a small part of the instrument and yet, without it, the instrument is useless. It is also the means by which the breath of the player is transformed into the sound of the instrument. Something came into my mind this afternoon while meditating about it. I remember when we were in England, we went to the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels there. I read through the booklet afterwards and there was just a little comment about the silver trumpets that the Heralds used. They lie in glass showcases with, if I remember correctly, it's the Lion of England, several rows of lions, on the banner underneath. Beautifully preserved and beautifully presented, but there is something missing. The mouthpiece. Because of this, they cannot be played.

 

I wonder if we realise just how important we really are? Even though we feel we are useless, unable, incapable. Because God can use us to convey a very special part of Himself to the world around us. I just thought of those trumpets, those heraldic trumpets that I mentioned. As representing the Kingdom of God as well as Salvation and Redemption. But I can tell you this, that all that God has planned, is useless without you and me. We are just a tiny little piece in this great plan of salvation. His plan of salvation would be a museum piece locked up in this book. A voiceless, beautiful story. You could look at it. You could read it. You may even understand it, but without a life that's in the hands of the Master, and without the breath of the Holy Spirit passing through us, this salvation can remain meaningless to all creation.

 

I was thinking of a few people or should I say, things, in the Bible, who were a mouthpiece weak. One of them was the little dove that Noah sent out of the ark. She returned with an olive leaf in her beak. Do you know what it meant to Noah? Do you know what it meant to God? That little creature that had no voice, bearing God's message of peace to all mankind. The same message that the rainbow also conveys to men and women still today. A mouthpiece weak, uttering things divine. God's message. Used by God.

 

Another person I thought of was the little captive maid there in Kings. She was someone who was under total control of her captor and she could have had a very hard and bitter spirit and been useless to God. But because of her attitude and because she was receptive, she could be the means of the salvation of her master. A mouthpiece weak, just uttering one, or maybe two sentences. She was the connection between God and a lost soul. The means by which he could enjoy salvation.

 

Joseph is a similar case. He also could have had a very hard and bitter spirit, a resentful spirit against his brothers. But you know what he said to them there in Genesis? He said, "See, it is I. I speak to you with my mouth," and his message to them was a message of peace, "God meant it unto good." A mouthpiece weak uttering things divine. He was under control of the Master, of the great player who understands the instrument and who understands the mouthpiece. Who uses us when we are needed, to convey the right sound.

 

There is just one other thing I'd like to mention. A number of years ago, I heard someone speaking about the tuning fork, and it came into my mind again. The tuning fork is an instrument that is used to set a standard pitch. It gives an unvarying sound by which the instruments of the orchestra can be set to play together in harmony. To me, it was just a little picture of our Lord Jesus. The sound that comes from His life is an unvarying sound and it sets the standard for all of us. If we are 'tuned in' to His life, we can move in harmony as God's people.

 

Do you know what a noise is? A noise is just a conglomeration of sounds. They are all making their own sound and they all have a right to make their own sound, but there is no standard and there is no harmony amongst them. So it becomes unintelligible, it is a noise.

 

I just feel for myself, and this is the message I would like to hand on to you - are you willing to allow God to set the tone in your life by the standard pitch which is set by our Lord Jesus, and are you willing to be taken up by the Lord and used by Him so that He can produce the sounds of the song of the Lamb and the song of redemption, in your life, NOW and for all eternity?