I like watching those YouTube videos where someone takes some old piece of junk and transforms it into something new and unexpected. The other day, I watched this guy take an old car part that had the base for a wheel attached to it and he took that wheel part and converted it into a tool carousel for his shop. The bottom of the carousel held his spray cans, the next level held his screwdrivers and the top held his paddle bits.
It made me think about how God works in our lives. We come to Him with lives that are broken and hopeless. We think there’s nothing that can be done. Then we cry out to God and He transforms us into something wonderful and unexpected even to ourselves.
One thing I noticed as that guy on the YouTube video transformed that car part was that he used WD-40 to free all the rusted bolts. When we come to God with our lives all locked up by the corrosive influence of sin, when we pray and ask God for help, His grace is like WD-40. In His mercy, He sprays generous amounts of grace into our lives to set us free.
But sometimes WD-40 isn’t enough. I’ve watched a few YouTube junk-to-masterpiece videos where the rust on the bolts was so bad that the tinkerer had to take out a blow torch and use it to burn away the rust in order to set the bolt free. I suppose if the bolt could speak, it would cry out, “Stop! You’re hurting me! I thought you were going to help!”
Sometimes to help us, God has to be pretty hard on us. Instead of spraying a little grace into our lives, He has to take our His spiritual blow torch to break us free. We have to come to grips with the consequences of our actions. We have to suffer loss, shame or embarrassment. The process seems so cruel, you think it would have been easier to stay the way you were. It is easier to stay as you are. Change is hard, but change affected by God is always better. When God is using His spiritual blow torch on us, we cry out, “Stop! You’re hurting me! I thought you were going to help!”
This why God gives us verses like this:
(5) …My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
(6) For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
When we cry out to God in protest to His chastisement, He replies: “Remember that I love you. This is ultimately for your good.”
What you don’t want to be is that bolt that simply refuses to come free. The worker tries all his remedies and then when he applies the wrench to remove the bolt, instead of turning, the head of the bolt shears off and becomes useless. Now instead of finding a way to use it, the worker has to find a way to get rid of it so he can go on with the rest of his project. Whatever he has to do, the bolt is cast aside and forgotten.
God has a verse for that kind of life too:
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1)
If you’re still breathing, God can still use you but if you continue to resist and refuse to be transformed you can find yourself completely cast away. Don’t be that bolt!