Life is Hard!

I am a strong believer that God uses everything that happens in life to teach us something about Himself if we will just listen to His Spirit and allow Him to instruct us. Then I search God’s Word to see what God has specifically said regarding what the Spirit has impressed upon my mind.

I am a pen turner and I love to work at my lathe. I have learned many things about life as I work at my lathe. Each step of the process in turning a piece of wood or antler into a pen is painful to the material with which I am working. The process includes cutting, drilling, shaping, sanding, polishing, friction, and pressure. But when the process is complete the material has been transformed; it has new beauty, value, and purpose. Something of little value now has greater value, all because it endured a painful process! Life is full of difficulties and it easy to become overwhelmed. But there is a purpose behind each hardship; they are all part of a process to shape and mold us into some of greater value and purpose. My desire in writing this blog is to encourage and maybe stir up some conversation with the lessons that God has been teaching me through the painful process of life. Life is hard, but God is good. May He continue working His process in my life.

If you are going to read any of my posts be sure to ready "Introduction to Lessons from the Lathe". In that post I lay out the basis for all the other blogs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Role of the Craftsman vs. the Role of the Material

 My role as the craftsman is to determine what I will create. I visualize it, I search for and select the material that I will use, I plan my work, I work my plan, I complete my work, and then I choose how best to use what I have created.” The only responsibility that the material has in the process is to be available and to submit to my plan. It doesn’t matter what a good craftsman I am, without material I can’t make anything! A craftsman must have material with which to work in order to demonstrate his workmanship.

I think this is a wonderful illustration of how God works. God desires to demonstrate His glory. He has chosen to use individuals to accomplish this purpose. He has a plan and a purpose; all He needs is the material with which to work.
God is the one who is searching for individuals in whom He can work. The whole purpose of Jesus coming to earth was “to seek and to save that which was lost.” In the gospel of Luke Jesus uses two stories of lost things, a sheep and a coin, to illustrate this purpose. The storyline is the same in each: someone has something, that something becomes lost, the someone seeks for his lost possession, and the lost possession is found and reclaimed. The coin did go looking for its owner; the sheep did seek out his shepherd. Each was sought and then found. God wants to do that in your life. He is seeking you.
The responsibility of the “material’ is found in John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus came and gave His life. The only thing that is required of “whosoever” is to believe; to be available and to willing put their trust in Christ. God will not, nor cannot work on material that does not belong to Him. We must choose to place our lives into His hands.
Just like a craftsman with material, God can now begin to work in your life to accomplish His purpose. But remember who it is that is doing the work. Too many times when we place our faith in Christ we begin to try to do all the right things. But watch the craftsman with his chosen material, the craftsman is working and the material is being worked on. A dressmaker chooses the material and it is cut from the bolt. The material is then cut according to the pattern and then sewn together. The only thing the material does is to submit to the cutting and sewing of the seamstress. When the material submits, the master can bring his plan to completion and the material is transformed into something new.
It is the work of the master and the availability and submission of the material which allows the master to create something new, something of greater value, and something with a new purpose. That is God’s desire for your life. He desires you. Are you available? Are you willing to submit to the Master’s plan?


  1. Excellent analogy, Scott. Submitting to the Craftsman is the only way we will turn out as He wishes. Blessings.

  2. Scott you did a great job of using your experience and knowledge of your craft to express what God is doing in your life and the lives of all of us who submit to His plan. It has become my goal to see each trouble or pain as an opportunity to anticipate the work that God is going to do for His glory. It is so fun to exclaim over the way He works through all things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.