The carpenter rubs his hands over the surface of the table. He’s looking, feeling, seeking for any imperfections. His hand comes across a rough patch. To the eye, it looks fine, but the hands know better. Out comes the sandpaper to rub away any imperfections.

I wonder if the wood minds. Does it complain when the tooth of the saw cuts? Does it gripe when the lathe turns? Does it rebel at the sight of a chisel? And what about all this endless sanding? Does the wood wonder when enough is enough? When is close enough good enough?

To the carpenter close enough doesn’t cut it. He seeks perfection. His sharp eyes and expert hands seek out even the most minor of imperfections in order to correct them.

I don’t think it an accident that Jesus was the ‘son’ of a carpenter. I can see him in Joseph’s workshop watching his step-father ply his trade. Building. Fixing. Repairing. Rebuilding. Major problems required major tools. Smaller problems required a gentle touch. Some woods were hard and unyielding, requiring brute strength to work with. Other woods were as pliable as a bruised reed, and only the softest of touches were required. But both types of wood needed the carpenter’s touch.

How is Jesus shaping you? Will you allow Him to chisel you into an image of His liking? It will hurt. Removing the rough spots of sin always causes pain. And for those of you who think you have arrived, there’s still some irritating sanding to endure. But let the Carpenter do His work and you will be astonished at a beauty you never knew existed within you.

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