“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2:10, KJV
A few months ago, my son took on the challenge of becoming a craftsman. He worked on building a new bookcase. This finished project will hold several theology books his dad and grandad recently gave him to aid in ministry preparation. I know from watching my husband’s theological library grow over the years that my son’s collection will grow as well, so he needs a sturdy bookcase to withstand the weight of all the coming books.
Each step of building the bookcase had a unique purpose. If you skip or overlook one element of the process, the finished work will be lacking in strength and would fail in reflecting the maker’s vision.
My son took great care to calculate the supplies he would need. With precision, the bookcase took shape as my son formed it together with nails from the nail gun. The nails were an important step in the formation of the bookcase. They held the shelves in place and gave it strength to hold the heavy, hardback books that will grace its structure.
The Putty and the Sanding
The next step in the process was to take the wood putty and carefully fill in any cracks and cover the nail holes. Once it cured, my boy gently began the sanding process. Sanding the wood down to a smooth finish was vital before moving toward applying the stain and polyurethane to give it a glossy, completed appearance.
The vision of the Master Craftsman
In my own walk with Christ, I find many similarities between my son’s project and the path the Lord is leading me on today. I want so much to be used of the Lord in ministering to others. But He has a lot of work to do on this girl. He is, after all, the master craftsman.
Sometimes God applies the nails of his choosing to show me the weak areas of my life. His nails give me the added strength I do not have on my own. God wants me to be able to be durable and not buckle under pressure.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”2 Corinthians 12:9a, KJV
When building a bookcase, sometimes the pieces begin to separate. Then the craftsman must add more nails and even hammer them in to keep it from falling apart.
Acceptance of these nails can be a painful process, but we trust our Master Craftsman as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9b, “… I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
It is overwhelming that Jesus took the nails that should have been mine on the cross. How could I not accept the nails he applies in my life now, especially knowing they are meant to build me more like him?
After the adding of His strength, Christ begins to spread the putty of his promises over my imperfections. “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:8, KJV), and “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart” (Psalm 34:18a, KJV) are just two among the many precious promises found in His Word. These promises can be relied on to move me beyond any hurt I endure.
Like the putty, I must be allowed to cure a bit first before the sanding process can begin. Every swipe of God’s holy, polishing sandpaper is taking a little of me off and molding me to be a little more like Christ. He knows exactly what grade of sandpaper to use because there are different degrees of roughness. He must wear away my pride, and any sin I am holding onto.
Before long, I am where God can add the color of the stain of his choosing and seal me with the coating of godliness. The coating will harden and be more resistant to future scuffs and knocks.
We are the Lord’s handiwork
Overall, God wants me to reflect his image. The process of being made into the image of Christ is a life-long work that begins at salvation. Sometimes the Lord might have to rework an area in my life that has imperfections. As the master craftsman, God sees the finished product of my life in a glance. I just have to be compliant for it to be a reality.
In your own walk with the Lord, what areas do you see his handiwork? Maybe you need grace to accept the nails God has for you, or perhaps you are in the sanding process where God needs to remove a little more of you so you will reflect Him more. God has his mind and his hand on you. You are being made into a wonderful creation ready to be used to fulfill His purpose for you.