I stepped into the cabinet shop and looked at a pile of rough-sawn lumber stacked in one place and looked over at a set of finished cabinets ready to be installed. I was a young man and had a family to support, and I was about to embark upon learning to build cabinets under the guidance of my Dad, the late “Slim” Calhoun. It looked impossible. At that moment I had no idea how I would be able to transform that ugly stack of lumber into such beautiful and useful cabinetry and furniture. The process began. Step by step, I learned. Through commitment and diligence, by listening to instruction and doing what I was told, by realization of and correction of expensive mistakes, in due time, I learned. I built cabinets and furniture for several years.
We all start out like a pile of rough-sawn lumber. For us to reach our full potential, there must be some cutting, straightening, planing down to proper thickness, more cutting, fitting the pieces together, sanding and polishing, painting or staining and varnishing, and finally the installation into the place of intended service. We are all in a process of change under the hand of God in order for us to fit precisely where we are to fit and achieve our greatest potential (Ephesians 2:21). God’s design for each of us is that we have abundance of life and abundance in life so that we are a living praise to him, and so we can be a blessing to others through him. He plainly said it was the thief, the devil, that came to steal, kill, and destroy, but that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus did not come to destroy our house; he came to build it. If we humble our pride and submit our fears to him and allow him to cut, straighten, plane down to proper thickness, fit together, sand, polish and paint, then what seems to be an impossible achievement can be accomplished and life can be enjoyed to the fullest. By allowing the Master Builder to do his work in our lives in an on-going way we are changed from rough-sawn to ready; we are stepping into our full potential and into God’s on-going peace, plan and purpose for our life.