Today I am going to talk about the master craftsman involvement in our lives. Today each of you (young and old) will leave here encouraged, and renewed in the knowledge that God is at work in you, and He will complete His work in you.
Anyone here a grandparent?
Anyone here a grandkid? - of course we are all someone's grandchild, or we were at one time.
Well, I have a grandparent story to tell you. I have two grandkids. In the last few weeks I have been making them paddles because they have outgrown the ones I made them when they were younger.
After looking at her new paddle, Journey, who is 11, "Grandpa I don't want to hurt your feelings, but it is not a very good looking paddle." To which I replied; "Oh but it will be, when I am finished with it."
She was referring to the boxy, clunky look it had at this early stage in its development.
She was right – the unfinished paddle was not very good looking. It is clunky and heavy – it is not easy to hold. But you know even in this state, you could use it – it would still function as a paddle. Although it is unfinished it is still useful.
There is a verse in the Bible that this circumstance reminds me of Philippians 1:6 – "He who began a good work in you will perfect it."
I also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I don't think God is finished with any of us yet. Did you know God's not finished with you yet?
There are some other verses that confirm this truth:
Philippians 2:13: "… for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" or Ephesians 2:10: For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus" … and Jeremiah 29:1, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Making the grandkids paddles took time. It involved a series of little steps that needed to be taken – but little by little, I did get them done. You know just like that song, "Little by little my Jesus is changing me."
When I was working on these paddles I ran into some difficulties. Fortunately for me a master carpenter lives behind me. He heard my planer and he had to come and see what I was doing. I told him about some of the difficulty I was having and he showed me what to do.
The master craftsman looks at a piece of wood, and he sees the potential in that wood to be something unique. He looked at my unfinished paddle, and knew immediately what to do.
We, too, have a master craftsman – who sees the potential in us. He doesn't live in your backyard, but He lives in our hearts. He is not only there when we run into trouble, but He is there all the time.
You see right now you are not finished – you are a little clunky – you are still useful, but the master craftsman is not finished with you yet. God has plans for you – He wants to perfect you. In particular He wants to perfect your faith.
You may be thinking; " That as a paddle you're more likely to sink, than cut smoothly through the water, before you are suitably refined."
Our prayer could be what I am going to call the prayer of the paddle – "Lord, shape my blades and plane them thin".
Maybe that could be your one take away today. "Lord, shape my blades and plane them thin."
We are all a little different, and we are all at a different place in our journey to perfection.
So, remember the prayer of the paddle – "Lord, shape my blades and plane them thin."
Al Bayne, a resident St-Pierre-Jolys and a former Thompsonite, who at one time worked as an advertising representative for the old Thompson Times, is Alpha Ministries Canada regional director for Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Saskatchewan. The Alpha course is a practical introduction to the Christian faith that is run by all major Christian denominations throughout the world. Bayne preached a version of this column as a guest preacher at Mission Baptist Church in Winnipeg May 27.