William Andrew Dillard
In communication exchanges with my dear cousin, ______________ of __________, she mentioned the idea of a chisel in life. I cannot get this off my mind, mainly because it makes so much sense. Accordingly, I attempt to expand on that idea for my own analysis, and I hope it may make some sense to others who read these lines.
How prone we are to live life to the fullest, but as much as humanly possible within our comfort zone. When something invades our comfort zone, it is always by an external force, and not of our own making. We are secure in who we are. We identify ourselves by the peripheral things and people around us, especially those we have known for a lifetime.
When a parent, sibling, or child dies, we feel ourselves chiseled. But we must understand that we really are as a sculptured work of art, fashioned by the Master Artist, and fully realize that He is not done with those of us who remain. When one of my children was still-born, it was as a chisel strike that I would have avoided at all cost, but one that brought more clearly into focus the fashioning of my life by my loving and righteous Creator-God. When deep depression struck in 1984, the chisel had never struck so hard and so painfully to shape my life to solely depend on my loving Sculptor. Then, dad died in 1987. The chisel struck again; painfully, but masterfully, further defining what I am to ultimately become. When mom died in 1988, it was a chisel blow. When my sister died in 2000, the chisel struck again. She was the first of my siblings to cross the bar, and I felt so vulnerable; that there was less of me than before. This week, my brother just older than I, succumbed to a massive stroke, and I am again feeling the strike of a chisel. Now, my oldest brother has gone to be with the Lord. There was love between us, even though we were not so close in later years as we had been as youngsters growing up. Still, all the precious people were there, and I knew it, and to some degree depended upon it. That was my comforting, self-definition of life. I feel the chisel from which no one is immune, even ministers of the gospel.
I do not seek immunity from the chisel, nor do I lament each blow as it may appear that I do. It is just that life is ever changing, and those who love the Lord will feel the chisel as He uses the events of life to channel us into complete trust and comfort in Him rather than the people and things that surround us. One day the Master Sculptor will be done with the chisel, and changes will cease to occur for we shall see Him as He is because, at last, we shall be like Him. Until then, may God give each of us the strength and grace to be still, and to cherish each blow of the chisel in the comforting knowledge of what He is doing to and for each one of us.
Tag Archives: parent
William Andrew Dillard
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,” 2 Thessalonians 1:10.
If you are a parent then you have probably experienced moments of extreme pride in your children. When your child learns to walk, learns to read, excels in a sport, graduates, or achieves significant recognition, these are moments when moms and dads can be seen beaming with pride, grinning from ear to ear. These are moments when parents proudly claim ownership of their child because, in many respects, a child’s success reflects honor to his parents. Most of the time, when a child is successful, it is because of diligent parents, and moments of success symbolize a return on an investment.
God has made a significant investment in His children: His Son, Jesus. He has diligently and faithfully arranged our future and, as a perfect Father, provided everything necessary for us to experience success. We don’t always reflect honor back to God. There are times, I am sure, when God is not pleased with the way His children behave. But, there is coming a day when Jesus will return to earth and claim His children. On that day, God will transform us as His children into the perfect image of His Son and give us glorified bodies. Then, God will look upon us as His children with the utmost pride because we will most perfectly embody and reflect His image. Jesus invested His life into purchasing this glory for us, so He is worthy of our eternal praise.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you thank God today for being your perfect Father?
The moral corruptness of our legal system destroys families and denies Christ.
When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!
All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.
I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
Don’t put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket, keep it in your own.
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
“Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil–it has no point”