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Unfinished Works

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭138‬:‭8‬ ‭NRSV‬‬


On Monday nights, we pick up our grandson William from preschool for an outing. One of our favorite recent activities is going to a place where he paints ceramics. We had gone a few times doing projects easily done in one visit, but around Halloween, he picked a pumpkin-shaped cookie jar, which he dutifully worked away at for three weeks (he’s only three, so each visit is only about an hour). After the first week, a worker suggested we use a sponge instead of a paintbrush. Each week, William introduced new pastel colors. Towards the end of the final week, though, it became evident William had lost interest in the project. As we left that day, we had them glaze and fire it to pick up later. We were astounded at how beautiful the end product was when we picked it up this week. 


I find parallels between today's scripture and William’s pumpkin project. First, we are unfinished works. Instead of once-a-week attention, God, in his love, is constantly making us into the final project. Secondly, where William grew bored towards the end, God never grows weary or disinterested. Thirdly, we need to trust God in the final product; he will take our life's various colors and textures and make something uniquely beautiful from them.


This verse also reminds me of the hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be” by Frances R. Havergal, which talks about relinquishing control of our lives to the Great Creator.


Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,

Let them flow in endless praise.


Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.


Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.


Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.


Take my will and make it Thine,

It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.


Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.


Lord, I trust that you will accomplish what concerns me. Your lovingkindness is everlasting, and I know you will never forsake the works of your hands. Help me to remember that you are always with me, even in the midst of trouble. Give me the strength to face whatever challenges come my way, knowing that you are in control. Thank you for your faithfulness and your mercy, which endure forever. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim




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