Remember the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin by the Brothers Grimm? Rumpelstiltskin was an evil little man who had the distinct talent of spinning straw into gold. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had the ability to turn cheap, common straw into gold? We’d all be rich. No one would have to work. We could lounge in the lap of luxury, eat bonbons, read novels to our hearts’ content, and indulge in every stereotype of wealth known to man.
But wait. If everyone sat on their expanding behinds and waited to be pampered, who would do the pampering? We’re all rich. There are no servants. There are no farmers to till the fields, harvest them, and send them to market. There are no markets, no factories, no caterers, and—horrors—no bookstores!
Spinning straw into gold loses its allure.
If we take the common and attempt to use it to gain the extraordinary for ourselves, we will discover there is no blessing. God does not allow those of a fallen nature to perform such miracles, which is why Rumpelstiltskin ended up extremely disappointed. The Bible has a word for the results of that kind of self-effort. Dung.
However, if we take the common, and ask God to use it for His glory, be ready to stand amazed.
When I was directing a small church choir, one of my teen girls wanted to sing a solo. Well aware she was not an excellent singer, a particular hymn was on her heart, and she wanted to sing it for Jesus. We practiced and practiced. My ears cringed. The poor girl was tone deaf. Come Sunday morning, she stood to sing.
Did God create a miracle with her voice? No. She continued to sing in a monotone, but her fervor for the Lord brought the entire church body to tears. The Holy Spirit moved upon the congregation that day because a humble heart used the straw of a lousy singing voice for the glory of God. It was golden.
Here is the key for turning straw into gold. Actually, two keys. Like opening a safety deposit box, I have one key and the bank manager possesses the other. To open realms of adoration, I own the key of surrender, which fits the door connecting me to God. And God owns the key to His own Magnificence for the other side of the door.
When that humble little alto surrendered her common voice to adore God, He used His key to unlock the door from His side of heaven. The result: blessings for a hundred people in attendance at church.
When I spend prayer time in confession and surrender, the door between my Lord and me swings open. I am enveloped in worship. Jesus is my God! My Savior! The One who takes my flaws and transforms them into jewels for a heavenly crown! The One who wraps me in all-powerful arms as I let go of everything else but Him.
The straw of surrender melts into the gold of adoration.