March 19


            Once upon a time, a woodworker brought several pieces of wood into his workshop. He left them there as he went off to design his latest project. All the tools were eager to get to work on the new project. The one who was most eager was the sandpaper. He was rough and tough and ready to take on the wood. He also was not shy about letting the other tools know that he was rough and tough. Among the tools, he was somewhat of a bully.
            Sandpaper bragged about how much he was going to rough up those new pieces of wood. Just let the woodworker come back and pick him up. Then he would show them all how tough he was!
            Eventually, the woodworker did come back, and he used his tools with all the skill he had acquired over many years of experience. Finally, it came time for Sandpaper’s turn at the wood. Just as he said he would do, he roughed up the wood, and he took great delight in using his grit to wear down the wood.
            As time went on, though, Sandpaper noticed he was having less and less of an effect on the wood than he had when he started out. He was losing his edge, and no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t keep it up anymore.
            Finally, the woodworker knew that Sandpaper had lost his effectiveness, and that all he was good for now was the trashcan. Too late, Sandpaper realized that he would be long gone, and the other tools would still be working away on the next project. All his bragging had gotten him a one-way ticket to the garbage. As for the wood, it became a smooth, beautiful rocking horse for the woodworker’s grandchildren, something to be treasured and loved.
            To look at this tale another way, we are like those pieces of wood, God is the woodworker, and the sandpaper represents troubles – people or incidents – in our lives. God never promised us that we would be trouble-free for the rest of our lives, but He can use those troublesome things to shape us for the better.

            In other words, we can look on our past troubles as sandpaper. Though it may not seem like it at first, if we let God use it, the sandpaper will eventually be worn down and discarded, and we will end up smooth and polished, yet another masterpiece in His gallery of creation.

No comments: