O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? Declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 18:6
I once happened to be driving along a country road in upper Michigan.
After a sharp turn on the highway, my eyes were struck with a sight so strange I pulled into a farmhouse yard to examine it more closely. All around the grounds of the old yard were statues of gnomes, animals, birds, and people -- statues that had been carved out of tree trunks.
Soon a group of about 15 people gathered to watch the creator of these sculptures begin a new project with his preferred tool: a chainsaw.
Wood chips and sawdust flew everywhere as the artist managed to carve a reasonable likeness of a bear out of a piece of oak. Using a number of chainsaws, the job took about half an hour. It took the artist only 30 seconds more to put a price tag of $450 on his work.
It occurs to me God sometimes works like that wood sculptor.
Most people think of God, the divine artist of our lives, as always being slow moving, working gently and with delicate instruments. Of course, He can do that. On the other hand, I have observed the Lord often uses the spiritual equivalent of a chainsaw to shape us.
Major surprises turn our lives upside down. Our plans and goals end up flying everywhere as He dramatically shapes us into the people He wants us to be. It may not be the most comfortable experience for us, but God's handiwork does make us more valuable to His purposes.
This is why, right now, if you find major pieces of your life flying around like wood chips, you might want to hold on to that picture of my chainsaw carver. Trust the Lord, whatever tools He is using. He is motivated by an artist's eye, and He will make you more valuable when He's done.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Lord God, You are always in the process of molding me into a new creation. Help me to become a delight to Your eye and empower me to live my life in thanks to the Savior who has died and risen to transform me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries