On a visit to the Simon Pearce mill in Vermont, I saw glassblowers at work.
I watched as one glassblower carefully extracted a glowing orange glob of molten glass from a searing furnace using a long metal rod, the blowpipe.
The glassblower sat down and gently rolled the rod backwards and forwards and the glob took on a rounded form. He then used what looked like oversized tweezers to add, with precision, more molten glass to the glob.
The man continued to add molten glass, roll, and expertly manipulate the object until it began to take shape. As it cooled, a perfectly clear and smooth wine goblet had been created before my eyes.
Glassblowing is skilled workmanship. In the same way, God’s work in creating you is masterful.
YOU are also God’s workmanship.
In some translations the word workmanship is substituted for handiwork. Handiwork brings to mind the knitted yellow chicks made by a family friend and given to my children at Easter to hold Cadbury’s cream eggs. Being someone’s handiwork is nothing to brag about. It’s nice, but it does not describe God’s exceptional work in making you.
Another translation uses the word masterpiece. It reminds me of artwork hanging in galleries. When people come to a masterpiece they stand back and observe, some for a long time. God did not make you to be looked at and admired.
Instead, as God’s workmanship you are made for a purpose—his perfect purpose. You are not a collection of cells to live a random existence. You are not an accident. God planned and created you with a role.
Yet, there is a problem. God’s workmanship of you is perfect, but you were born and live in a fallen world, so you are imperfect. You are amazing, but you’re flawed, too.
Perfect glasswork makes it onto the shelves of the Simon Pearce shop in Vermont. The imperfect items are discarded.
God, however, doesn’t reject you for being defective. God can use you for his perfect purpose regardless of your imperfections.
God sent his own Son who broke into a sweat and took the heat of the furnace so you can be perfect while being imperfect at the same time, and so be useful to God.
We have two beautiful glass tumblers from the Simon Pearce workshop, given to us by my mother-in-law. Each one, because of the high quality of the workmanship, is individual and cost a lot of money.
Your life is unique and expensive, too. God purchased you with the life of his Son.
On the bottom of each tumbler there is what looks like an imperfection. It is where the glass attached to the blowpipe.
It is a reminder, even though you have imperfections, when you are attached to Jesus you are made perfect.
Looking back, where have you been aware of your imperfections this past year and how they have held you back?
Looking forward to the New Year, where can you let Jesus make you perfect so you can be used for God’s perfect purpose?
Lord God, thank you that believing in your Son, Jesus, means I can start the New Year afresh forgetting my flaws of the past year. Amen.
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Hi Rachel, I did get to the blog after all. I see your point. Are you a potholder or a portrait? I am working on December as a Season of Rest, but I decided to define words from the Bible that we tend to gloss over. That’s a New Year ‘s plan. Workmanship is a good one. What a nice gift you received. And you’re right we cost Jesus everything.
Rebecca, I hope you enjoy your December season of rest. I am sure God will speak to you in many ways through the words you look at from the Bible. Enjoy.
Oh, what a perfect illustration of God at work in a life. It resonates for me right now, as I’m visiting the potter’s house with Jeremiah and reading and re-reading the words about starting over and God fashioning faithful followers out of miry clay.
Thank you, Rachel, for lovely and always challenging words.
Fashioning faithful followers out of miry clay. I love that Michele. It speaks of our God doing amazing things with us if we will let him.