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No Unfinished Sculptures

While reading through a chapter in a book, have you ever stumbled on one nugget of truth that will stand out boldly like Mount Rushmore and you can’t get past it until you stop and spend time thinking on it?

That’s what happened to me this week as I read through Chapter 3 of the book “Unglued” and I read Lysa’s TerKeurst’s story about the Unfinished Sculpture that shared the same room with well-known masterpiece of “David” completed by Michelangelo.

The nugget that grabbed my attention was: “He (God) allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done.”  I am an unfinished sculpture that needs to be chiseled, especially with all the unglued moments that I have had lately!

I thought about “chisel” a little bit more.  Sculptors used a tool called a chisel to sculpt the stone and fashion it into the figure of what they see inside their mind, just as Michelangelo did with the sculpture of David.  The chisel has a cutting edge at the end of the blade, often made of steel, that is used for cutting or reshaping stone. Chiseling is a slow, thought out process and cannot be hurried.  As in the case of Michelangelo, it took him over two years of immersing himself into the job of sculpting David until he felt he was finished.  This sculpture was not a small project; David stands 17 feet tall!

Through reading this chapter, I recognized that if I want God to chisel me, I have to allow him to design me into what HE sees me to be, not what I think I want myself to be. God’s sculpting may not be easy, and it will not be a hurried process.  It may make me uncomfortable and I may question the decisions of where I am being chiseled, but it is the Sculptor alone who can do the job of fashioning me into something wonderful and beautiful!  I rather be God’s workmanship and accomplish those things that He has already prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10) instead of constantly struggling to figure it out on my own.

And isn’t that where real freedom will take place?

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God, Do You Care?

God, are you there?  Because I really messed up this time. 

That was my somewhat hesitant, and very much hysterical, call to God back in late 1996 when I became pregnant. 
I had been confident that my boyfriend, who had asked to marry me, would come through as the hero to rescue me and to set a date.  And he did want to set the date, but not for the wedding . . . .  for the abortion.  The fellow who shared his vision with me of a family with four kids now wanted no responsibilities.   When I refused his request to have an abortion, he left.  I wouldn’t see him again.
Unfortunately, the decision to take my life plan into my own hands would quickly be seen as a serious mistake.   I had just turned 30, had a good management job and was living on my own, but the surety I previously had regarding my long term career goals and future marriage plans had disappeared. 
As a long time follower of Jesus, I wondered if He was would still be there for me, and whether this would be a storm from which He would save me.   From that hesitant, sincere call to God, asking Him to take over this mess I made, my prayers were answered in ways that were entirely unexpected!

God, do you care?  Because I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.
He DID care; He forgave me when I asked, and He did not offer any condemnation during this new struggle.  How did I know? 
  • I received a large, unexpected raise at work that would allow me to raise my own child.  
  • It was discovered that I would get a portion of my salary for a paid medical leave while I would be off work for six weeks after having the baby.
  •  Friends rallied around and sponsored a baby shower that helped me get started in a new life with a baby.

The best answer to my prayers was a vision, in which I dreamed about playing with a toddling, blond-haired little boy, who I called “Matthew.”

A few months later, I gave birth to a sweet, cuddly (and loud!) little boy, who I promptly named Matthew, which means “Gift from God.”  From that day, I look at my son as a special gift – one that is here to do great things for God and one who was created for a divine purpose here on earth, regardless of how he entered the world.
From that time, God has still provided many blessings:   I married a wonderful man who is not only the very best husband for me, but is a fantastic father who was specifically chosen by God for my son.  
Does God care?  He does!  As I work through Jennifer Rothschild’s Bible study, “Missing Pieces”, I was once again reminded that even when we are in the wilderness, we can be humbled, learn our true character and find out whether we will learn to obey God’s commands (Deut. 8:2-3). In this case, that was learning the lesson that God has the best plan for my life, not me. God rescued me from myself, and delivered me from additional hardship.  Were there consequences?  Yes.  However, God is faithful, and when I search for Him, He hears me and delivers me.  (Psalm 34:4-7)  

UPDATE:  (9-3-12)
Just today, I get an email out of the blue from the husband of a friend who I have been out of touch for about five years.  He wanted to tell me that she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and just learned of this diagnosis in April.  Chemotherapy has not helped, and she is currently in a rehabilitation center.  She also has two sons who were adopted, both with special needs.  Of course, I called her immediately.

Remembering this blog post from just one day ago, I now cry — does God care for her?  Where is He in this circumstance?  Where is His compassion in her pain?

As I learned from “Missing Pieces”, I must “take God as He is and trust that He cares because He is in the boat” with my friend right now.  I can only believe that God has brought my friend and I back in touch as part of His plan of compassion for her.  

Want “real hope when life doesn’t make sense? “  Find out more about Jennifer Rothschild’s new Bible study, “Missing Pieces” HERE.