We spent quite a bit of this past weekend cutting wood in preparation for winter. As we were cutting, moving, and stacking hundreds of wood pieces I was reminded how life is similar to wood. Here are a few of the important lessons I’ve learned from wood.
EVERY PIECE IS USABLE
Every piece of wood that we cut has a use. The small scraps we use in the fireplace on the weekends when we have more time to spend filling the fire box. Pieces that have nails we burn outside in the fire pit so as not to scuff and scratch the fireplace. 4×4’s are used along with the slats in the fireplace. The 4×4’s burn longer and are good to use during the night. Slats don’t burn quite as long but are good to stack in the fireplace and fill in some of those cracks.
As it is with life: NO HUMAN IS UNUSABLE! God can use anyone! He has specific plans for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10).
“The human body has many parts,but the many parts make up one whole body.”
~1 Corinthians 12:12
CUTTING MAKES IT EASIER TO USE
The skids that we cut are big. Most of them are taller than me and too heavy for me to lift. Until the skids are cut into the various sizes they are way too big to fit into the fireplace. They can still be used just not for heat in the fireplace. Cutting them to size ensures that they can be used effectively for heating the house.
Sometimes we have to go through challenges and hardships so that we can be a better light for God (James 1:2-4, Matthew 5:14-16). We are clay in the hands of God. He is the Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-10 and Isaiah 64:8). God knows where the best place for our service to Him is. It is our job to allow him to complete His work in us and be willing to be used as He sees fit (Philippians 1:6). When we make mistakes as we will (Romans 3:23) there is grace to cover every wrong. God can redeem even the worst mistakes that we make in life and turn them for our good (Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20).
IT NEEDS TO BE STACKED ON A FIRM FOUNDATION
I’ve learned this one from experience. We had a stack of slats that ended up toppling over because it wasn’t stacked on a very firm foundation. It didn’t have support as it got taller and as a result it grew very wobbly and unsteady, eventually falling over.
Life can be the same way. If we don’t start with a firm foundation as we try to grow and reach new heights without the proper support we will eventually crumble.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Jesus and following His commands needs to be our foundation. That way when the storms do come we will be able to withstand them and grow from them.
One of the things I love about these lessons from wood is that these lessons were something that I was able to learn just by doing something I do often. What are some things that you do often that teach you spiritual lessons? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below!
Until next time,