I have a few woodworking projects that I hope to accomplish this winter so Sunday night found me at Menards getting a load of lumber. When you get lumber at a board yard you can’t just grab the boards on top of the stack and load them into your truck, because lumber can be a fickle product.
Some boards are warped. Others have split ends or rough, unfinished edges. Sometimes a board can be full of knot holes and unsightly blemishes. I admit that I am a bit picky, so many times I will reject three times as many boards as I choose. For this load of lumber I had purchased over 40 pieces for various lengths and widths, so it took me a while to select the wood that I needed.
You see, the better the piece of lumber, the less work needed to fashion it into whatever it is supposed to be. It is always such a relief when I crank down my ratchet straps on my truck, because the difficult job of sorting through the lumber is finished.
The lumber has been drying in my shop this week and should be ready to use now — maybe I will spend a bit of time in the shop tonight — I find that so refreshing. Over the next few weeks that lumber will become furniture. Chairs, food trays, stools… stacks of boards becoming useful items.
Yes, I am picky when I sort through those boards, and I am quick to reject any that are damaged… aren’t you glad that God doesn’t operate that way? God doesn’t sift through the mass of Humanity and just select the gifted… the popular… the best looking… the richest… the people with the fewest flaws… God is willing to accept anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. And he excels at transforming damaged lives and making them whole and new.
In fact, I really think God revels in doing just that… bringing beauty from ashes. Think about some of the people that God drew to himself and used for his glory. Noah was a drunkard. Abraham was a liar. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. Rehab was a prostitute —so was Mary. Jacob was a deceitful manipulator. Ruth and Naomi were poor widows. Jonah was a whiner. Solomon was a womanizer. Jeremiah was depressed — a lot. Paul was a persecutor. Matthew was a tax collector. And Peter was a hot-head. Yet God redeemed and restored each one and they brought him great glory.
Listen, don’t you ever buy the lie of The Enemy that you are not good enough for God to use for his purposes and glory. God revels in bringing beauty from ashes. Believe in Jesus… surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life… trust in God’s will — and let God fashion you into something wonderful. Don’t think he can do it? Then read this… “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
When you are a child of God you are not the sum of your faults… you are a MASTERPIECE — created anew. God can take a warped soul… a heart split by rejection… a life knotted with sin and covered with rough edges… and create something wonderful. A work of art from the very hands of the Creator God. Which is WAY more than I could ever say about my Adirondack chairs…