We often talk about transformation, that change from one state to another. When we use that word in the context of God’s people it indicates, the majority of the time, a change from an old life to a new and better life. That change is usually marked by abrupt change, where a more gradual transformation in the character of a man or woman takes place over the whole of their lives. Regardless of the speed of change it begins somewhere, there is no running start.
That starting point often points us to one of God’s most miraculous abilities and that is to see something inside of the raw material that he’s given to work with that we ourselves cannot see. Much like the woodworker begins with his or her raw materials, the dimensional lumber. The craftsman has a vision for the finished product that will generally not look anything like the pile of boards that enter the shop. They will be marked and cut and planed and shaped to be fitted together, fastened and finished. Looking at the end result one is amazed that something like that came from a stack of lumber but the artist never is. He knew that that chair or table was in the wood and all that was necessary was the correct application of certain tools and processes to shape it into the beautiful piece of furniture that is.
So many people are content to go through life as that pile of raw lumber, never letting the master craftsman shape them into the beautiful objects that he intends them to be. This doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there, it’s just that we lack the divine inability to see what’s inside. To be shaped and formed, perhaps cut and bent, requires that we trust the Artist. It’s hard to do when you think only of your own skills and talents, but trusting in him is easy when you just look about you and all of the things that he has already created and shaped that you, on your greatest day, couldn’t duplicate.
Christians are fond of repeating the adage that God has a plan for your life. That plan is unique and it’s anchored in all that is inside you, the things that the Planner alone can see. It may turn out to be very different from what you see in yourself but it is guaranteed to be perfect, because — whether table, chair, dresser or bold — the final object is precisely what God formed you to be.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:2