Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Word of the Week: Shaping

Shaping. This is a very comforting word for me. It reminds me to be patient, as the saying goes, because God is not finished with me yet. I'm reminded of Philippians 1:6 where Paul assured the Christians at Philippi that God would bring his work in their lives to completion. Until that day, it's a shaping process that takes place, day by day. I can't help picture a potter as he works at the wheel, hands lovingly guiding the wet clay, and am reminded that God's shaping work in our lives is a picture of his love. He's intimately involved in this process of who we are becoming.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

I am art with a purpose.
I am God's workmanship, his handicraft, his artwork.
I am a depository of his creativity, embodied in his great love.
All my efforts to enhance the project in any way are futile.
I cannot lift a brush to the canvas of my life. I cannot shape the clay from which I am being molded. I cannot chisel away at the wood from which the tool is being formed.
But . . . I can reflect his beauty to others as the picture of my life becomes clearer.
I can pour out of the vessel of my life refreshing words to others.
I can, as a tool in God's almighty hand, somehow be used in the lives of others.
I cannot, as the picture or the vessel or the tool, understand how it is that God chooses to involve me in his work.
I cannot see or even begin to envision the finished work.
But I can trust that my life has purpose and meaning.
I can submit to the almighty hand of my Creator.
I can be secure, knowing he will not leave his work unfinished.