I have recently taken up one of my favorite pastimes—woodworking. Thus far, I’ve built two desks, a coffee table, and am working on a few other projects. I was first introduced to woodworking in high school by my Ag Teacher; I enjoyed it then and enjoy it now. When I’m done, there is a sense of accomplishment, and the finished project makes the process well worth it.
For one desk, I needed to build X-braces into the frame for a farmhouse look. All was well and good until I realized that I am not that good with angels. I struggled to cut the angels correctly, and when I managed to cut a proper angel, I did not cut the board long enough. Whenever I seemed to make a bit of progress, I would have to back up a few steps because something wasn’t done correctly. (Eventually, I did get it right.)
When I’m building, each piece remains a work in progress until it is completed. Who determines when the piece is completed? Simple. The builder. The piece cannot determine for itself when it is finished. In a similar way, we too are under construction. Paul recognized this and wrote in Philippians 1.6: I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. God is not done shaping us into the image of our Lord Jesus. We all have a long way to go.
Students (and adults) often struggle with remembering that they are not there yet. They struggle to remember that they don’t have it all figured out and that God is still working on them. Many frustrations can be traced back to a failure to remember that God is not yet done with us. When your student fails, spend some time talking to him/her about the truth that God is the God of redemption (Eph. 1.7), who will waste nothing (John 6.12), and will always demonstrate grace (Ps. 103). And, as a parent, remember, God isn’t done with you, either. I pray that God will give you the grace you need to be the parent He has called you to be. May we all continue to allow God to be God as he continues to shape us.
On the journey,