The life of a daddy is always an adventure.
I am the father of three precocious children. They are amazing, and I honestly never thought that they would ever find me exciting or entertaining.
In fact, I never felt qualified to be a father. I am not a craftsman like my father was. I really don’t have a tangible skill to pass down to them like many fathers do.
Now, I am a man with a lot of skills, it’s just that I haven’t mastered any of them. I suppose you could say I have learned just enough of each skill to get by, with the exception of the ministry, which is not a skill; it is a calling. Have I pursued an education? Yes, I have a master’s degree in public management and I will be finishing a Master of Divinity degree in May.
A personal accomplishment, yes, However, I do not desire to see my children strapped with student loans and the eternal search for the right career that will “fit” their education. I prefer them to have a trade. I was the family’s black sheep when I went to college, and it was totally unnatural to me. It still is bizarre to me, as I am more of a hands-on type of guy.
However, I have noticed that my children are drawn to me more when I am using my hands. Even though they always take an interest when I am studying, reading or writing, and they always have a book in their hands, which blesses my heart, something incredible happens when daddy pulls out his tools.
My kids are absolutely enthralled with daddy’s stuff. Hand tools, axes, hammers, saws and wrenches are my children’s candy. When I have to fix something, they begin to swarm, like crows at harvest time. In fact, I have, on occasion, found my tools in my kid’s toy chest.
I have one particular little boy who follows my every move when I am doing physical labor. The other day I was chopping wood, and I turned around, and he had a hammer in his hands hitting another log. Then my daughter came over and picked up the other hammer. Every time I hit the wedge, she would mimic the sledgehammer’s sound bouncing off the wedge. No matter what tool is in daddy’s hands, whether an ax or a hot glue gun, they are closely watching.
The other day we were working on a project for homeschool. We started a lesson on the Jamestown Settlement. I taught them how to make candles, which they declared were for their Momma when she came home. I also taught them how to cook Indian corn pudding, which did not suit their 21st century palate.
We were again starting to build our Jamestown fort model. As I was making my sections, my littlest one came over and said, “Daddy it’s your masterpiece.” I laughed. It was hardly “masterpiece” material. I have some skill with a glue gun and popsicle sticks, but a masterpiece? It falls short.
Yet, as I looked, all the kids were focused on my creation. What their daddy made was fantastic in their eyes; their attention was on me and what I was making. All day they were talking about my “masterpiece.”
With such a high view of what I made, I started taking care of my wooden model piece. I was no longer just putting together some sticks haphazardly. I made sure that my creation was worthy of my kid’s adoration.
That got me thinking about a scripture I had read to them a few days before. It was out of the Book of Ephesians. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
I told them about the word ‘workmanship’ in the original language and how the word literally means a masterpiece. I said that God had created us in His own image and that if we are in Christ, we are His masterpiece.
I informed them that God takes great care with our lives. He is present in the good times and the bad. Everything that we might be experiencing in our lives, God uses to mold and shape us into people worthy of His name. I reminded them that it is in our weaknesses that God’s strength prevails and He is glorified, thus turning our lack into His masterpiece. God is the master craftsman. And like a sculptor with a chisel in His Hands, He shapes us into a person that looks like Jesus. The chisel doesn’t always feel good when it removes imperfections, but the end result is beautiful.
I know all too well that there are days when we feel like failures. There are days when the chisel’s pain removing that piece of stone in our lives seems overwhelming. But never forget that you are in the hands of The Skilled Craftsman. His love for you knows no bounds and He is shaping you in a beautiful work of art. Remember, you are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus.
On days when the weight of life is pressing down on you, or the pain of the current trial seems unbearable, remember the words of Psalm 46, “Be still, and know that I am God.” He has you in the palm of His hands and will never let you go.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. It is my prayer this week that you will realize that you are His masterpiece. Won’t you submit to Him and let Him finish His beautiful work in you?