Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) was playing a difficult piece of music before a large audience. Suddenly one string on his violin snapped, yet he continued to play, improvising beautifully. Then two more strings broke, and he completed the composition playing with only one string.

When the applause eventually stopped, he nodded at the conductor to begin the encore. The violinist smiled at the audience and shouted, “Paganini . . . and one string!” Placing his instrument under his chin, he played again with that one string.

With that in mind, Charles Swindoll writes, “The longer I live, the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” Supporting his conviction with Scripture, Swindoll reviewed the response of Paul and Silas as they sat in stocks in prison. Instead of bemoaning their lot, they made use of the “one string” they had left—they prayed and sang praises to God (Acts 16:25). As a result of their testimony, the jailer and his entire household were converted and baptized.

Have you allowed life’s adversities to discourage and immobilize you? With God’s help, make the most of the “one string” you have left. —JEY