I had a conversation recently with a friend where we were discussing what I call a Holy Tension.
Sometimes when I am praying for direction I ask the Lord for peace concerning a decision I need to
make. When I sense that peace I feel confident to move forward. But recently, I was praying about
moving into an area of ministry that is a new direction for me. As I prayed I asked for peace but I felt a
little unsettled instead. Not unsettled about the decision so much as about whether I am equipped to
handle it. Can I stay humble? Can I keep the fruits of the Spirit as my standard and not become prideful
or arrogant? Do I have enough wisdom and knowledge to meet the responsibility I would be accepting?
This is where the Holy Tension surfaces. Yes, I need to know God’s peace concerning my decisions
but there will always be a health caution when it comes to carrying out His direction. I will never be
completely settled because if I am then I’ve ceased to trust God minute by minute. I will always need to
feel dependent on God, recognizing my own shortcomings and relying on His power to accomplish what
He’s called me to do.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted
by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are
always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
I never want to become so confident in myself that I quit leaning on the Lord. The peace in my spirit is
the peace that comes from trusting in God’s perfect abilities and the tension comes from acknowledging
that on my own, I am nothing.
My husband is a woodworker. He builds everything from chicken coops to porch swings to fine dining room tables. He is a craftsman who settles for nothing short of excellence. He also restores furniture. I’ve seen him take a broken down piece of furniture that someone brings him and patiently restore it to its former glory. Sometimes the transformation is amazing.
He takes a piece into his workshop and begins by assessing the damage. He doesn’t care where the piece has been or what abuse it may have experienced. He focuses on returning it to useable condition and the purpose for which it was created.
He removes the old finish, sands and glues and sands some more. Then he carefully applies the new finish and watches as the richness of the wood is revealed. He patiently waits for each coat of finish to dry before applying the next.
Our Heavenly Father is also a master craftsman in the business of restoration. He can take a life and strip away the old, stained finish. He can gently sand away the rough spots and mend the broken pieces. He can apply a brand new finish, rubbing the oils of healing into our hearts, causing the richness of His presence to shine in our soul as it was intended from the beginning when He created us and then declared His creation very good.
God doesn’t care where we’ve been or what we’ve experienced. Nothing can disqualify us from being beautifully restored if only we will put ourselves into the hands of the Master Craftsman.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”