Bible Studies Words Of Encouragement By Don Doran / last month Share Tweet Pin Share God Preached to Me Through a Block of Wood! In November of 1996, my wife and I took a short vacation to a little town located on the Oregon Coast called Goldbeach. One afternoon we drove around the area. We were playing tourist, visiting shops and sightseeing. During our drive I saw a sign advertising a Myrtlewood shop. Loving that type of wood and remembering its beauty from when we had lived in Oregon some 20 years before, I insisted that we visit the shop. Myrtlewood is a rare type of wood that is found in few parts of the world, mainly in the south west corner of the state of Oregon. It is made beautiful because of its contrasts of darks and lights in the grains of the wood, mixed with birds-eye and burls. When we arrived at the Myrtlewood Shop we found the family who owned it also had their own sawmill where they manufactured the wood they would use to make items for their gift shop. Inside the shop were all types of beautiful items that had been made from the wood. The first item that caught my attention was a double barrel goose gun that was hanging on the wall. The butt stock of the gun had been carved from Myrtle wood to look like a goose in flight, all detailed down to the last feather, web feet and all. The forward part of the stock was the outstretched neck and head of the goose. It was awesome! It was beautiful! The contrasts of the wood and the intricacies of the carving made it one of the most striking pieces of craftsmanship I have ever seen. It had truly been created by a master craftsman. They also had some blocks of wood in a paper bag, which I bought to make Christmas presents from with my kids. I was really inspired by the craftsmanship I was surrounded by. When I showed the wood to my children, I was excited because I could see different items that could be made from these pieces of block. Yet my kids were not excited at all. In my mind I could already see what I wanted to make from these pieces of wood. Although we had fun the Christmas before making presents together, somewhere in the past eleven months I had lost my ability to think in an intelligent manner. In other words, they acted like I had lost my mind. As most teenagers think of parents ideas, mine thought I had gone crazy. So I decided to just to use the wood myself. One afternoon I was working with some of this wood, making Christmas presents, all alone, and God began to preach to me through a block of wood. A couple of passages from the Bible came to my mind. Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” Exodus 35:35, “He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers– all of them master craftsmen and designers.” Israel is in the process of building a tabernacle in the wilderness. God gave the instructions to Moses that was needed to build the tabernacle. God has instructed Moses of the materials to be used in the building of the tabernacle. The people brought all of the materials to the tabernacle area that was needed in the building of it. God also designated men who would do the work of creating the Tabernacle. These were men who were specialists in their craft. In fact, they were called cunning workmen, or one translator called them “Master Craftsmen.” They were said to have this ability because God had filled them with the ability. Exodus 35:35 actually uses the description “Cunning workmen.” This phrase actually means to be able to look at something and design what it should become and then craft it into that object. This is a description of a “Master Craftsman!” God spoke to Israel in II Kings 19:25 “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.” This passage lets us know that God plans and executes His plan in bringing things to pass. He designs and then He crafts that design into reality. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” We are His workmanship! We are that which He designed! We are that which He created! Now I have told you that God preached to me through a block of wood. As I took this piece of wood which I held in my hand and began to make it into the creation that I had decided it would become, God began to speak to me concerning my life. He said, “Notice the wood is rough, gouged by the saw. It is very ugly. Do you see the scars left by the saw blade? Do you notice also, that you, as the craftsman, have looked beyond this obvious outward ugliness and have seen the hidden beauty in this wood? In fact you are excited about it!” (Myrtlewood in the rough) He continued, “Notice, again, that you have looked at something that is nothing and have seen the possibility of what it can become.” Then He said, “This is what I have done with your life. I have taken it when it was rough, gouged by sin, and very ugly. Yet I have looked beyond the outward ugliness and have seen the hidden beauty that is inside of your life. I have looked at something that is nothing and I see the possibility of what that life can become. I am The Master Craftsman!” As I began to work on the wood, trying to make it into the creation that I had seen in my minds eye, God stepped back into the pulpit and began His second message. He said, “I want you to notice, you are taking the sand paper and you are scraping it across that piece of wood. You are doing that in order to remove all of the ugliness from its surface. Although it is abrasive, it will remove the scars, the rough places and make it smooth. In doing so, you are revealing the hidden beauty of the wood that has been covered by the scars. Notice, also, you are making the wood into something that is pleasing to you. You have not asked the wood what it desires you to do with it. You have not asked the wood how it feels about being a desk ornament. You, the craftsman, have decided what it will become and the wood has submitted its will to you to make it into something useful and beautiful. That is just what I would like to do with a life if the person will just allow me. I will take those rough and ugly scars and remove them. Sometimes it will be painful! However it will reveal the hidden beauty that is in your soul. I have a plan and design for each and every person’s life. They must submit themselves to me, as the Master craftsman, and I will make something beautiful and useful out of their life.” (Not my work! However it is Myrtlewood,) God brought my attention to Romans 9:21, “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” Does the clay refuse to allow the potter to work with him? NO, the clay is submitted to the hand of the potter to become what the potter desires for it to become. I know I talk about David a lot but his story fascinates me. According to my calculations David was anointed king of Israel 15 years before he became king. God was preparing him to be the vessel He wanted him to be. During this time he killed a giant, he became a national hero, married a princess. He was made an outlaw. His wife was given to another man to be that man’s wife. He lived in caves. He came within a couple of hours of becoming a traitor to his homeland. His home is destroyed, his family kidnapped and his only friends wanted to take his life. His best friend, Jonathan, is killed. He is finally put on the throne, but only as King for part of the kingdom. At last, he is king only to have a son rebel and try to take the kingdom from him. He has “civil war” inside his own family. However I want you to notice that somewhere in this time, God calls him a man after His own heart. God was able to make him into the creation that He had chosen to make David. David was submitted to him. We can’t see what is in the mind of the master craftsman. But He knows what He has in mind for each and everyone of us. We just need to allow Him the opportunity. He is the Master craftsman and desires to do a great work in you, if you will only allow Him. Life might have left scars on you Life might have left you feeling ugly and hopeless. However, God can see past the scars. He sees beyond the ugliness and can see the beauty that can be made from your life. He is simply waiting for you to allow Him to do His will in your life. Yes, God Preached to Me Through a Block of Wood! Can you hear Him preaching to you? God Bless!