Never Too Broken
A man and his wife, from Holland, sat down in the workshop of skilled craftsmen to share their story. The place was filled with the tools that fit the skilled hands of women and men who have spent decades studying and refining their craft. The couple opened a small box and carefully unveiled a gold pocket watch. The timepiece showed the age it carried and reflected the story they unfolded for the interested clock maker and his associate. The watch was discolored by years of grime, the second hand and crystal were missing, but there, in the fob on the end of the watch chain, was the picture of the grandmother, holding guard over the treasured keepsake. The Hollander told the story of the grandmother from Indonesia who had been taken from her home and family, during World War II, and imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp. Having been taken quickly from her home, she grabbed the only thing she could that would represent the connection to her family, uncertain what the future would hold. Taking the watch, she sewed it into the hem of her dress, where it remained, undetected, for four years until her release after the war ended. She then passed it down to her son, who had left it to his son, as the only family heirloom that connected them to their family history. The grandson left this precious piece in the capable hands of the craftsman to do his magic.
In the following days, the expert clock maker and another craftswoman who restores clock faces, meticulously, and with care, brought the watch back to life. They restored it to working condition with cleaning and repair that was just enough to give it the life it once had, while preserving the integrity of its history and age. When the day came for the reveal, the grandson, his wife, and his mother, were moved to see the watch once again working...as if each tic of the second hand represented the heartbeat of the grandmother who had survived such tragedy and miraculously preserved this artifact that would connect her generation to the many to come. (You can see this story on the BBC program, The Repair Shop.)
This BBC program is a new discovery for me, but I'm intrigued by it. Taking something that is old, broken and no longer useful in the eyes of the average person, and turning it into something of restored beauty or usefulness, is a joy to watch! I wish that I had been a master craftsman. To have studied a craft for decades, honing my skills and developing myself as an expert who has the ability to bring items "back to life;" to be able to restore things to their former beauty, to be able to bring joy to someone when they see the history come to life in that heirloom that connects them to their own history; that would be such a satisfying process.
God Restores Broken People
Watches and antiques aren't the only things that deserve to be restored. Something is of value when it is desired enough that someone takes care of it, cherishing and utilizing it in their life. Sometimes we may get or send the wrong idea in our realization that without Jesus, we are nothing...we can do nothing. We acknowledge that He is everything that we need...He takes us from the realm of death and hopelessness, to life and eternal hope. However, that does not mean that before we come to Jesus, we are worthless or not of value. The opposite is actually true! Consider what gives us value:
...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God Uses Broken People
Somehow, there can be this image in the church world that a person has to be perfect before God can use them...that we have to have it all together or God has no use for us. While I'm not suggesting that we give ourselves a pass for sin, I am declaring that being sinless, free of hang-ups or struggles, is not the prerequisite of being useful in the hands of God. The fact is, that the Bible is full of examples of how God uses imperfect and broken people. For example...
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God...
1 Corinthians 3:3-5
Spend Time in the Master's Workshop
The watch that spent four years in the hem of a prisoner's dress had to undergo a transformation to be restored to its usefulness and beauty, and to fulfill its purpose to connect the generations of a family. This transformation required extended time in the workshop of very skilled craftsmen. They painstakingly worked to carefully bring the watch to life...giving joy to those who were connected to it.
The Father has a workshop where he does His masterwork in each of us. He is working to make us that masterpiece that brings glory to His name. We are freed to fulfill our purpose and to see Him work through us to accomplish the things he has planned for us in this world! How does He accomplish this? Again, Paige gives us some insight...
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
2/16/2021 05:54:56 am
Such a great post and great reminder that we are never too far gone for God to use in a big way!
2/16/2021 08:00:10 am
So true! We become trophies of His grace because of it! I can imagine that, when He looks at us, He sees us as we are AND as we can/will be, by His grace.
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With over forty years of ministry experience, Randy Kinnick continues to live a life of pursuing the purpose for which he was created. Whether teaching God's Word to adults, coaching youth and young adults in finding their purpose, or caring for the hurting and abused in Southeast Asia, the adventure has taken him around the world in ways he could have never dreamed. The adventure continues!