Last night at small group we watched a Skit Guys video. I had actually seen it a few times before. Each time, it seemed something different stuck out to me. Last night was no exception.
The title of the video was “God’s Chisel”. I would encourage you to go look it up on You Tube if you haven’t seen it.
Anyway, I’ve been put through God’s chisel it seems lately. Actually, it feels more like God’s wringer–or maybe God’s sledgehammer. And, to be honest, it has been and continues to be very painful.
I was thinking this morning about how a piece of wood feels when someone is hammering a nail into it. Now I realize that wood does not have feelings, but humor me for a minute. Imagine you are a piece of wood sitting on a shelf in your local Home Depot. A guy comes by, stops, looks at the tag above you, and wraps his hands around you. Next thing you know the guy is loading you into the back of a pickup truck. The truck starts moving. It stops at a house and the same hands that loaded you into the truck now grab you and put you on the ground with a few other wood pieces bought from the store. Soon after that, you hear the loud, grating sound of a motor and pieces of wood dust are flying around you. The man works efficiently; you wonder when it might be your turn to be put under the saw. The man grabs you and lines you up with some of the cut pieces. He makes a mark with a pencil and then it happens. The sharp point of a nail is pressed gently against you and then WHAM! Ouch! The nail pierces the surface of you and is driven deeper and deeper with each hit from the hammer in the man’s hands. Seriously? What the heck is this guy doing? Why take a perfectly good piece of wood and ruin it by putting holes in it?
What the wood cannot know, though, is what the final product is going to be. The wood can’t see the swing set it will be a part of–a swing set that will produce laughs and memories of precious children. Or maybe the wood is part of a patio picnic table–a table where families will gather in the warmth of summer and eat burgers from the grill and smores from the fire. No. The wood cannot know any of this. Even if the wood did have a mind and soul, it would most likely focus on the pain of the nails as they were being driven.
Right now, I feel very much like that piece of wood. As each “nail” is driven, making me into something that the Creator wants me to be, it hurts. I want to scream at the Creator, “STOP! Can’t you see how much you are hurting me? Don’t you know that I just am not able to take anymore pain? Don’t you care that you are ruining me??” Yes, I am right where that piece of wood might be before it sees the end result.
And I wish I wasn’t in this place.
I wish I trusted the Creator enough to believe that the end result will be so much better than sitting on a shelf just being useless. Please don’t misunderstand. It isn’t that I completely mistrust in this process. No, that is not the issue. The issue is, and this is what struck me in the video last night, I want to be made useful by the Creator, but I want it to be done my way. I want to have the say in the level of pain that I can handle and still be comfortable. I want to be in control of how many nails it is going to take. I want to decide how long must pass between each nail. After all, I am the one being worked on, right?
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I don’t get a say in any of these things. I signed the right to have any say away when I told Jesus that I wanted Him to be Lord of my life. I am no longer in control of any outcome.
And right now, that is overwhelming me. The tiny amount of faith I have is being tested beyond what I think I can handle. There are only a few ways to escape that, though, and none are really acceptable to the Lord of my life. I know. I asked someone their opinion on that and the advice given to me was, “I wouldn’t want to take that chance.”
So, the only other option is to keep allowing the nails to be driven.
And hope that I am able to withstand the pain of the construction. And hope that the end result makes me a better and more useful person.
Because right now, I don’t feel useful nor do I feel that there is much hope that things will get better.
And hope is an important factor to keep on keeping on.