Friday, May 2, 2008

THAT FOUR LETTER WORD


“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” - Philippians 1: 6

One of the many things I’ve seen my Dad do with his hands is “whittle”. Some of you may call it carving, but here in Western Kentucky, we call it whittling. He once took a plank of wood from an old church he grew up in, and carved it into a pocketknife, complete with moving blade, and the emblem of a tree on one side. Of course, it was just a wooden knife, but it was useful. It was useful because it was what the carver had wanted it to be – a memory of his old church.

Our lives in God’s hands are like that plank of wood was in my Dad’s. Sometimes he whittles away at us, taking away the things that don’t belong. To us, they appear to belong. They are part of us.

Maybe it’s something in your past that causes you to fear or be less confident in who you are. God will take us through the trials that cause us to overcome the fear and pain of our past.

Maybe it’s a crutch you’re holding onto. Maybe you can’t seem to go to sleep at night without that last drink or that last cigarette. God will talk to you and help you to remove all crutches so you can be dependant only on Him.

Maybe it’s a relationship. Some relationships are more harmful than good and God does seek to pull those people that are hurting your walk with Him away from you. This can be very painful as we look at those that are our friends and wonder why God is taking us down a different path.

This is why Paul refers to the process as “work”. That’s a four-letter word none of us like! “Work” is not associated with joy. “Work” is not something we do because we want to but because we have to. But the “work” is God’s “work”, not our own. He is the carver. We can get into a lot of trouble when we try to do our own carving! What if the plank my Dad was carving suddenly decided to split right down the middle? His plan for it may have had to change, or he may have decided to throw it into the kindling pile.

Let God do the great work He has planned for you. He will make you a useful tool for His work. He will create in you the person He wants you to be. Knowing that all gifts from God are good, how can we fear his carving?

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