God Just Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

fishing-boat-538015_640The apostle Paul stretched out, waterlogged, on an unfamiliar beach blinking in the white sun surrounded by pieces of ship and others not fortunate enough to open their eyes again on this shore.

Peter caught by Paul, red-faced and ashamed, facing correction for spurning the Gentile Christians around the Jewish Christians who might judge him, facing something worse now – the truth about his own ugly thoughts.

Elijah, bloated with self-pity, crying out for death beneath a broom tree. Jonah spared a death at sea awakening to a gastric nightmare in the putrid belly of a great fish heading in the very direction he doesn’t want to go. The mighty Samson chained between two pillars, sightless and fallen, the jeers of his victorious enemy humbling him to where he might be of use with one final (finally) selfless act.

Exposed. Peeled back. Weak. Needy. Dependent on a merciful God. Like a newly shorn sheep, small and shivering, missing his woolly glory is dependent on the shepherd. Like a once lush and lavish vine, cut back to an ugly, brown stubble it was sure it had left behind, must now wholly trust the vision of the vinedresser.

God just can’t leave well enough alone.

And when we are the ones, shipwrecked, rebuked, weary, shanghaied, fallen, groomed, and pruned, the humbling can taste like the bitterest brew. And we may remember our illness fondly having now tasted the cure.

But God is a Master craftsman and our lives are His art. Every hammer strike on the chisel, each whitewash of the canvas, every edit, each uprooting,garden-1214148_640 every remix is for His glory. And for our beautification, our completion, our perfection, the creation of ourselves into His vision for us.

And we will be beautiful in our time.

Our fruit will multiply, our glorious wool grow full again, our strength return, our mission complete, our faith restore, our minds renew, and we will at last awaken on a familiar shore that we will know is Home

because He will greet us with a fire and fish on the beach  and the glory of His smile.

Yield to His work and flourish under His hand.  Never settle for the illness when you can have the cure.

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5 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Thank you for talking to me today in my desperate need.

  2. The last line got me. I was selfishly complaining to God that I almost wished I’d never tasted His goodness, because it makes the earthly ordinary almost unbearable. But your words hit home. Of course that bit of God in my life pushes me forward and through these surroundings. I am blessed through the mess. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Doris H Campbell says:

    Thank you for this message of renewal. Just one year ago I was ‘shipwrecked, rebuked, etc’ but now my ‘wool is growing again’ thanks to the arms of a new loving church family.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t like this article very much; it is banal and trite. Why is it no one ever comsiders the fact that maybe I don’t want to be in this world? God is a master craftsman you say,yet He always has a plerhora of excuses why He won’t do something for us.
    What also interests me is the right here,right now. I am unwillingly in this world doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful. I have never expressed an interest in being a martyr nor will I;I do not like God’s plan for my life.Many department stores have gift exchanges, why does He not have one for everyone? That way, people would be happier and would not be stuck with something they do not like. I also have no desire to spend my every waking moment helping people.For the”gift,” He gave me,or what I call the crap calling in life to Him I have said,thanks,but no thanks.