Jeremiah 18:1-3 “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.”
I dreamed I went to a woodworker’s shop. There was a lot of wood lying around. Some of it was very rough, as though it had just been cut from a tree. Other pieces were smooth where they had been sanded, and the lovely grain was showing through. Sitting here and there were all sorts of furniture and woodwork, tables and chairs, stools and racks, stands and benches.
I spied a small stand made from an exotic wood. The grain designs were beautiful. I thought surely this piece is complete and ready for sale. But as I watched, the woodworker walked to the piece, wiped it down with a cloth, and began to sand it all over. After a few strokes, he would wipe it down again. Amazingly, the grain became more brilliant the more he sanded. Finally he wiped it down one last time then used some cleaner to make sure he removed all the fine saw dust. Now there was an awesome looking piece! Now it must be finished.
Wrong again. The woodworker came back with a small jar of liquid. He carefully applied it to the wood with a small brush. The wood itself took on a glow as though it were absorbing the surrounding light. I took a closer look. The lines and designs of the grain were so intricate. They were beautiful before, but now they were breathtaking. The woodworker carefully lifted the stand and placed it in an adjacent room to dry.
When he returned, I asked him why the additional time sanding on the stand when it looked so good before. He said there were many different grades of sandpaper from the very coarse to the very fine. On a new piece of wood, the coarse would take off most of the imperfections and begin to reveal the lovely grain beneath. The finer grades would take off more and more without damaging the wood. Although the grain begins to show after a few sanding sessions, it won’t show its true beauty until all of the imperfections are removed, some too small to be seen easily. Finally, the wood is cleaned well to remove any dust, and the sealant is applied to polish and protect the wood. You can’t go by sight, you have to follow the process.
What an example of how God works with us. He takes us as new pieces of wood and begins to remove all our rough edges. This is rarely a pleasant experience as He is shaving off much of ourselves to reveal His beauty within us. Once that is complete, we look at our reflection and think we are finished. But He can see far more than us. He lovingly applies finer and finer grades of trials and tribulations to painstakingly remove the imperfections of which we aren’t even aware, all with the intent of creating a masterpiece which can reflect the light of His Son. And He will continue to work on us until the day we see Him.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”