During 2015 and 2016 my husband and youngest son worked 12-18 hour days building our farmhouse. There were many days when they would come home and plop down in a chair and say nothing because they were just exhausted.
One time I took a picture of their hands because I wanted to remember their hard work and their sacrifice to make a solid, well built home.
Each step of the building was time-consuming and had to be done in the proper stages. We learned a LOT along the way about what to do and what NOT to do, but we enjoyed the process. Oh sure, there were moments of wondering how we would pay for the next load of lumber and the time we had to re-run an entire set of pipes, but God always provided the funds, and He gave Mark and Sam strength to pull up and lay new pipe. Two years seems like a long time to build, and truth be told, we still have a whole exposed wall in the hallway and no ceiling yet and one spot has no floors, but one step at a time! LOL.
One day while doing all this building, my husband called me and told me to come over to the construction site. I got there and he showed me these boards.
He was so excited and I just stared because I didn’t know what he was so happy about. He went on to tell me that he had been over at the lumber yard getting some materials when the owner decided to show him around the place. Mark said they walked out back behind one of the buildings and he saw something that caught his eye. There were some planks of wood like the one pictured above, shoved off to the side. Mark managed to climb over several stacks of lumber to get to them and he asked the owner if they were for sale. They struck a deal for next to nothing and Mark brought the planks home.
I remember his eyes as he explained how perfect they would be for our kitchen counters. Then I understood. I was doubtful as to how they would be turned into anything, but for less than a hundred bucks, they were not worth complaining about.
Soon Mark got the planks sanded and placed one for the long bar and the other was cut for the sink. Slowly they began to take shape and I could see what Mark had seen all along.
He was able to envision their beauty, even when in a rough state. Those beautiful cinnamon wood planks had been stored away and forgotten out in the elements for a long time. But Mark had gone searching for them and saw what they could be with some work, time and care.
Today they sit atop cabinets and a bar that my husband and son crafted from scrap and they are the first thing that visitors comment on when they walk through my front door.
My countertops are a constant reminder to me that something ugly can be made into something beautiful. These counters represent not only a vision, but the man behind the vision and the joy he had in finding them, making them and giving them to me.
God has a vision for my life and for yours. He never stops working on us to get us to the point where we can be useful and of service for Him here on earth. And when He needs to, He will pull out the sander and go over some rough edges won’t He? He has brought us in out of the elements, made us His children when we were saved and now He wants to use us for His glory.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Don’t over look people because they are in a rough stage. Be patient, show grace and offer support as they are being sanded by the trials in life. God is working on them just as He has you and NONE of us have arrived.
I am thankful for those who have stood by me with grace as the sandpaper smoothed its way through my life. Aren’t you? Let’s do the same because God sees something shiny and pretty and USEFUL in them even if you can’t.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Exodus 40 / I Kings 21-22 / Psalm 56 / Hebrews 4