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Like Barn Wood

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.  Philippians 1:6 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.The task of rummaging through piles of rustic wood thrills me.

My daughter spotted a huge red barn with a sign that screamed, Wood for Sale, so we stopped to explore its content. Stepping over mounds of sawdust and making my way through the dusty sunlight, I spotted pieces of aged wood, begging to be recycled into exquisite pieces of art. 

Each piece of wood holds a story and is never afraid to display what defines its character. As a sixty-six-year-old woman, I see myself in those pieces, realizing my life is a divine project still in the making and continually under the guided hand of my Creator.

With the wood positioned in my saw, I reflected on the progression of steps needed before expecting a showpiece and pondered the parallels to my own life. Something happens during the process of removing the unwelcome layers of corrosion or those stubborn places my heart refuses to yield. Splinters need sanding and embedded nails need removing. So does the stubborn pain that has penetrated deep crevices, making it almost impossible to remove. And worst of all, some wood smells nasty and musty. But I am eager to give my rugged prize possession some TLC and bring its personality to life. 

We often find ourselves in the hands of our loving Father who erases the stains of sin that scraping can’t remove. He dislodges wrong attitudes that contaminate our minds. The saw cutting always hurts, whether it’s our pride or patterns of thought that become excuses to resist change. Eliminating residue from the past means saying goodbye to hopes or dreams we clung to that may have been outside the will of God. My vulnerability is frightful until I remember I am a living example of redemption, evidenced through spiritual transformations and emerging inner beauty.

While I will be forever flawed and incomplete, in the hands of my Savior I am inspired because He sees only His finished masterpiece—a workmanship created in Christ Jesus, who cleansed me by His blood and covered me with the protection of His grace and forgiveness.

Remember your Redeemer lives. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to finish it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Anne O'Donnell

Anne O’Donnell grew up in a household where the word “relationships” did not exist. Although she craved them at a young age, and attached herself to destructive ones into adulthood, she never expected that Jesus was preparing her for a future of reaching people—a future born out of the pain and depression that controlled her for so many years. She now spends countless hours online, connecting with individuals who believe they have no hope. She remains in awe of a God who used her past to create the future she now enjoys. God has blessed her with four children and a husband who has had to endure many challenges from living with her. She loves Jesus and continues to press forward into her senior years with a hope that is alive.