Recently, we bought an old ugly dresser at a garage sale. It was three different colors with peeling paint and lots of scratches, but it was solid wood and so we made grand plans to update it. I’ve never tried to restore furniture before, and there was a lot of googling and calls to my mom (who is a pro at it!) for directions. I kept getting the same message: before I could do anything to beautify it, I had to sand it down, and again, and again! Then, I needed to scrub it clean. Then after all that, I could put the new paint on.
So, I bought my supplies, we took the drawers out, and I started sanding. I sanded and scrubbed and sanded and scrubbed. I felt each edge, and I didn’t stop sanding until it was as close to perfectly smooth as I could get.
There was one drawer in particular that the more I sanded, the more I found needed sanding. I so badly wanted to just be done! But I kept going because if I didn’t do it right, the new paint wouldn’t stick like I needed it to. Since I wanted the end product to be perfect, I kept sanding the edges smooth.
As I was staring at one of the edges, holding it an inch from my face to determine if there was any paint chips left, a statement the college pastor at my church said months ago came to my mind. “God’s hand is closest to you when He’s pruning you.” I loved that quote when he said it then because I thought it was a powerful truth. However, in that moment, the depth of truth in that quote struck me. Although I wasn’t pruning, I was doing a similar effort to this wooden dresser.
In that moment, I had a new understanding of what God means when He says “I will be faithful to finish the work I have started in You.” (Philippians 1:6) He is committing to continually smoothing out my edges because He wants His finished product to be perfect. He knows that if He were to leave any of the old me, then it would tarnish the new identity I have in Him. So He has committed to working out the salvation in me. He’s probably more tired of sanding my edges than I was! I certainly have more!
But even more than the awareness of how He needs to work on me was the understanding that in order for Him to do the work, however, means He is holding me so very close. His hand is never nearer than in those moments. I felt like I knew every millimeter of wood on that dresser by the time I was done because I was holding it so closely and inspecting it so carefully. Nothing was going to happen to it that I didn’t plan for. The more I was working on it, the closer I was to it.
God is doing the same with me but with infinitely more love.
About Holly's Blog
Holly loves to write, and you'll find her blog covers all different topics!