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Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Carpenter

My fingers run gently along the top.  Feeling the smoothness of the wood grain.  The smell of sawdust fills the dimly lit garage.  Back and forth the sand paper rubs across the old dresser.  Sweat beads form on my forehead, but I love the work.  I see potential in this old, ugly dresser that was practically worthless.  I picked it up from a consignment store for $20, but it is solid wood and the right size.  Good bones.  It just needs a little TLC.  Well, maybe alot of TLC!

And I am almost giddy with excitement.  I want to finish it tonight!  But I know that’s impossible. Transformation takes time.  I remove the back so no dirt can hide away from my careful cleaning.  Now for the sanding.  I am struck by a thought…  Jesus invested a considerable amount of his life doing this very thing!  God could have sent Jesus to be the son of anyone, but he choose to send him to a carpenter.  In those days you generally apprenticed under your father and learned his trade.   Interesting that the earthly profession God choose for his son was carpentry.   

Jesus spent many of his days building and sanding things from wood. He spent hours and hours making something out of nothing or perhaps refurbishing old things that seemed useless.  Bringing them back to life again.  As I stand watching the old layers of varnish disappear I think of how the Lord uses difficult, irritating circumstances to remove the ugly things from our hearts.  He allows us to be rubbed until we are smooth and fresh and clean and new again just like the wood on this dresser.  Then he primes and paints and sands and coats and waxes.  It is such a process to bring us from something old and dingy and ugly to something beautiful.  It is not quick and easy, and it is probably painful. 

The Son of God did this very thing with His hands over and over and over again.  With only about 33 years on the earth, He spent many of His hours doing this.  Why? Perhaps it was a picture of what He intended to do with us and ultimately the earth. Beauty from ashes.  Light from darkness.  Rebirth.

I love the work and the grind of the process because I know what the end result will be if I persist.  Painstakingly and by the sweat of my brow transformation will occur.  And so the Master Carpenter does with us.  He persisted all the way to Calvary.  He persists even now in loving us when we are broken and filthy.  Taking us as his own when we were practically worthless.  He calls us his bride and sees us that way though we are still covered in sawdust.  He patiently removes those things that would hide the darkness deep inside and painstakingly cleanses us through His life poured out.  The sweat of His brow.  He patiently sands us,  runs his fingers across and feels the coarseness of the grain of our character, and He persists.  Allowing us to be transformed by circumstances but never leaving our side.  Preparing.  Us.  For the layers of beauty and glory that will ensue as we are transformed into His likeness.  

In the hot garage, my dresser taught me a little about the One who is so patient with me.  And I couldn't help but remember the hours I spent in another garage making a doll house for Makiah.  While I was refinishing her doll house,  I had thought of how much I loved making it for her, and I had been overwhelmed with the strong impression of how much God enjoyed creating her for me.  We are His joy!  His creation.  The workmanship of His hands.  His.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”     2 Corinthians 3:18

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”    Hebrew 12:1-3

***the joy set before Him is us!!!

I admit I got a little stencil crazy, but contact paper is not twin proof!

Two Sleepy Princesses

Princess Makiah and her doll house

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