Thursday, December 29, 2011

Forged In His Image

Last night we were able to have a small Christmas celebration with my three daughters, two son-in-laws, granddaughter Layna, my hubby and me. Our newly wedded daughter and her hubby returned from Pennsylvania on Tuesday after spending Christmas with Ben's family. So, we decided to wait until we could all be together to exchange gifts.

Over bowls of crunchy green salad, rich chicken tortilla soup and gooey brownies, we laughed, caught up, teased, and just enjoyed being together in our own quirky way. We are rather weird as most families are, but we just don't mind admitting it. We admit it! Weird is our middle name. Ask anyone who is close enough to really see us at our best. 

One of the most unusual and endearing gifts that I have ever received was from our oldest daughter Michelle and her husband, Frank. They presented it to us last night. It was a hand-made forged fireplace tool set. Frank asked a friend to help him with the design and forging. It was a masterpiece done just for us. I know. I know. It's only a fireplace set, but it was the thought, the effort, the time, and willingness IN the gift that meant so much.

Yes, it doesn't take much for us to be completely blown away. Still, thank you, Frank and Michelle for such a gift.

Then it got me thinking - surely you're not surprised by that! A crafted fireplace tool set is just that. But a crafted fireplace tool set made by the hands of one that we love and that we know loves us, is priceless.

And such is our life. We can either craft our own life with no tools, no experience, and no clear perspective of what it should look like. We can even try and worship what we craft with our hands as we often do.

Isaiah 44:9-17 is one of the most humorous passages in Scripture. Don't misunderstand me. It is sad that there are those who truly believe that a tree can be both warmth to our bodies and yet another piece of it be a god to worship. It's just that Isaiah must have written this with his tongue in his cheek. How can something but so sad but yet so humorous. Call me callous! But I'm really not...

OR we could have the Master Forger (God Himself) craft our life for us. He has endless resources, He created all the experiences in the world, and He has the perspective of eternity by which to design us for His purposes.

Isaiah 54:16-17
 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals 
And brings out a weapon for its work; 
And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 
No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; 
And every tongue that [l]accuses you in judgment you will condemn. 
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, 
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

Forging is the shaping of a metal object by heating it in a fire and then hammering it into what the designer chooses to be. Sound painful? In our human perspective, it would be.

Becoming a crafted piece for the Master Forger to use for His glory will take some fire, some pounding, some stretching and pulling. But in the end, the tool that is prepared for His purpose will be useful, amazing, valuable.

Are we willing to be spiritually forged? The results could be amazing!