2013-03-06 - Washed-Up Timbers
When Richard and I were recently in the Murrell's Inlet area, we learned something that we didn't know, about hurricanes. Many times, timber from ruined structures is washed up on shore. Now occasionally, we will see a piece of driftwood that looks like a lovely natural sculpture. But I realize that if I had looked at most of those "orphaned" pieces of wood, I would have thought they were non-usable garbage. But it turns out that sometimes, people living in coastal towns have taken those washed-up timbers and used them to build new houses and new businesses!
This reminds me of the fact that God can take the washed-up timbers of our lives and use them to build new lives for us, as well as using them to help others in similar situations. For in God's eyes, we are never "washed-up."
Have you been lain-off at work? God can point you in another direction. Yes, it will be challenging, but you can learn new things, meet new people whom you can grow to love, and you can make a difference there, as well. Have you been diagnosed with a serious illness? Putting aside the obvious reminder to "seek a second opinion," God can give us new attitudes through illnesses and injuries - and also is ready to use us to minister to others with similar health issues. Did you lose someone dear to you? No one can ever replace that person, but when a friend or relative goes through a deep loss, you can be immensely supportive; you will know what helps, versus what well-meaning gestures actually make things worse. Are you experiencing the deep pain of a broken relationship? God can use those washed-up timbers to rebuild the old one in an even stronger form, or to prepare you for an even better one.
Whatever the cause of our washed-up timbers, God can take them and make something beautiful out of them. I would love to hear about your washed-up timbers. As the Apostle Paul taught us in 2 Corinthians 4 (NASB):
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.