Today’s Scripture: As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. It is God that girdeth me with strength and maketh my way perfect. Psalm 18:30, 32

When we journey to Israel each year, we always see exquisite olive wood carvings. This ancient tradition, which began in Bethlehem, requires very skillful chiseling and is quite the process. Most of the wood-carving artists are required to go through six to seven years of training, and the process of completing a piece can take up to 45 days.

As the carvers are working with the wood, the wood does not twist and turn exclaiming how painful the process is. It does not fuss at what the artist is making of it. In fact, the wood has no will of its own. It does not interfere with the areas the carver needs to remove in order to make it into his intended form.

Wouldn’t our Christian life be so much easier if the Lord took us and in one fell swoop saved us, turned us into what He desired us to be, showed us His entire plan, and removed all our blemishes? Yes, it would be easier, but we would no longer need to seek Him in faith. We would be pre-manufactured followers. The best way to carve wood is widdle by widdle, not by running it through a machine. It is painstaking and takes time but it is the most accurate way to remove imperfections and shape the object into something more than what it was before. There’s always a better way and a better way is way better – no matter how hard it is.

Are you letting the Lord work in your life? Often we are so busy that we cannot even hear him. We want God’s will but often cannot take the next step in what He wants us to do because we have things in our lives that we refuse to allow Him to remove. Each day our Savior is trying to work in the lives of His children-carving out our imperfections, sanding down our rough areas, detailing those special gifts He has ingrained in us. How are we responding?

Do you see life issues as tools that God is using or do you just view them as an inconvenience? Now is the time to look at your life through the eyes of the Master-carver. He is trying to make you into more than you could ever be on your own. Seek Him today. Acknowledge that His way is way better than yours and allow Him to make a masterpiece out of you.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.