Monday, July 7, 2008

God's Best Work

I love light! Whether it's sunlight or artificial light, I want plenty of it during the day or even at night if I am working or reading. We open all the curtains and blinds first thing in the morning to get the day started. It's energizing! Besides that, I want to be able to see what I'm cooking or cleaning or studying. If I have to work under a dim light, I can't see what I'm doing. Inevitably, I end up with a sloppy job, whether that means that I've missed some spots on a floor I'm trying to enhance with wax or on a face I'm trying to "enhance" with makeup!

Have you noticed, however, that God seems to do his very best work without the benefit of light? For instance, babies are built within the unlit walls of their mothers' wombs. Who except God could form the spectacular structure of the human body in the dark?

Unlike a surgeon who sutures and clamps in a brightly lit operating room, surrounded by a helpful team of other medical personnel, our God works needing neither electricity nor assistants. We busy ourselves with ultrasounds and amniocentesis tests trying to figure out just what is going on in the womb. God has allowed for those medical miracles to give us a glimpse of his handiwork. But perhaps in some ways our mothers were better off -- they had to rely on their faith rather than a technician to see them through their pregnancies.

The desire for knowledge and information seems deeply ingrained in our humanness. After all, before the invention of sonograms there were plenty of tried and true methods used to determine the gender of an unborn child. It's just part of our nature as people to want to know everything about tomorrow today, whether it concerns a baby, the weather forecast or the stock market.

But there are some things that we are kept from knowing, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. When I was little, we used to sing a song in church that said, "We will understand it better by and by." The song went on to explain that there are certain circumstances and situations in our lives that defy any kind of logical explanation. We won't understand until we get to heaven.

Imagine for a moment how the disciples must have felt when the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus on trumped up charges, led him away and later crucified him. They had no comprehension of what was going on. In spite of all the time that Jesus had spent with them, preparing them for the events that he knew were going to take place, they expected things to go much differently. For the disciples, those days between Christ's death and resurrection were a time of great darkness and, I'm sure, much soul-searching as well. They didn't understand that in the darkness of the tomb, God was doing his best work!

Often we find ourselves in dark places, sad and disappointed. Could it be possible that these are the times that God is doing his best work in us? I believe that, for the disciples, what three years of living with Jesus failed to accomplish, three days of living without him certainly achieved. Three days in the dark. Three days of not understanding why. Three days of fear, actually, outright terror. Three days of "what if?" It must have seemed like a lifetime.

It may be that way with you today -- an illness or tragedy, a broken relationship or an abandoned dream may be causing you to stumble along in the darkness of God's workshop. I want you to know that eventually, morning will come. And when the light of day shines on the work of God's hands, there is no blemish found. It is perfect, finished without fault. You see, whatever God does is his best work. Trust him.

Even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. (Psalm 139:12)


2002 c Rebecca Ingram Powell. This article first appeared on Baptist Press. I hope it ministers to you today!

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