As Louisiana Methodists prepare for Annual Conference, our Bishop, Cynthia Harvey, has asked us to use Psalm 139 as our guidepost.
Because there are 24 verses and we received this charge with 24 days until we would depart Conference, I decided to spend all 24 hours of the next 24 days meditating and writing on each verse, each day.
I know. That seems confusing. It’s really not.
Today, we’ve arrived at the 10th verse.
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
I love this visual the Psalmists write about God placing His hand on us.
There are so many wonderful references in Scripture to “the hand of God”
God is indeed the master craftsman.
Take a moment and watch this video I stumbled upon a few months ago.
It’s a short vignette about a metal worker, who simply describes his job as, “I build stuff.”
As you listen to Nick describe his art, and watch him create something useful out of junk, reflect on the 10th verse – God with His hand on us – guiding us – holding us fast.
Perhaps God thinks of us in the same way Nick thinks of his art.
You see, Nick never sees trash as…trash.
He sees trash as art, art that is waiting to be molded and shaped into something beautiful.
If I have learned anything through this process of meditating and unpacking the 139th Psalm it’s that God’s work in our life is never complete.
With the word “trash” comes a certain sense of finality.
You’ve looked the item over – pondering any value or use for it, only to finally, once and for all, kick it to the curb for discard.
God doesn’t look at anything like that.
Just like Nick, He sees a project.
Those character flaws we hate?
Those insecurities we hold on to?
Those fears that keep us from going deeper?
To God, those are opportunities.
An opportunity for the master craftsman to use His hand and His grip on us to build something, to fix what’s wrong, to smooth the roughness, to save the discard.
With the right amount of grinding and chipping away – He can turn us into an object worthy of hanging on His most cherished walls of Heaven.
There’s just one catch, we have to allow God to do His work in His time with His tools.
And just like the grinding and the welding we saw in Nick’s art, God’s work in us might be painful and, at times, difficult and hard to understand.
In fact, we might lose some things we thought were important to us.
But, in the end, we are transformed and able to experience what Paul described in Philippians 4:7, “God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.”
I don’t know about you, but I will happily trade my flaws for that.
As we march toward Conference, my prayer is not for God to continue to hold Louisiana Methodists in His right hand.
We don’t need to pray that prayer – God will continue to hold and guide us as long as we are discerning Him.
And that is the prayer.
May we block out the noise and discern His steady hand and His mighty work.