“God likes to wet the wood before He sets the fire, that way everybody knows who made it burn.” – Steven Furtick
The Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs (14 quarts) of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water. – 1 Kings 18:30-35
Manipulate: “to manage or utilize skillfully” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Have you ever had one of those nights, mornings, or days where nothing seems to go very smoothly? We all have. Sometimes we spill our coffee while we’re running late in the morning. Maybe God is wetting the wood. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like God could do anything with us in the mood we’re in. Maybe He’s wetting the wood. Sometimes our lives are interrupted by cancer. God is wetting the wood. And even as I say this I doubt that God can work through every obstacle. My doubt is wrong. God can work through any and every obstacle in our/His way. The trouble is we are often looking at the wrong destination. Sometimes obstacles aren’t meant to be overcome, sometimes they’re meant to be detours. Sometimes we see a pile of wet wood and give up immediately. And sometimes on a good day, when our faith is strong we pray that God sets it on fire. There are times when God will set the wood on fire. Often He won’t. As any craftsman knows, wood needs to be wet before it can be bent and formed into the shape they need it to be. God’s power is not always used to overcome. Sometimes He uses His power to manipulate, to bend, and mold us and our situations into the the exact pieces He needs to build a masterpiece. Our lives are meant to be masterpieces for His work. The problem comes when we assume His masterpiece looks like something we would make. We start brushing away, then He comes by and cleans the canvas. We start again disappointed, discouraged, and praying for success. He comes back and washes again. We can’t see that we’re making a finger painting and He’s making a Monet. God has the power to overcome. He has the power to make wet wood burn. And He has the power to use our circumstances, no matter what they may be to His advantage. When asked whether He was worried if God was on his side, Abraham Lincoln replied, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Are we on God’s side? Certainly we’re getting showered on all the time, but are we letting God use those showers? Are we wet wood in the hands of God? Most of us want to be on God’s side. Are we willing to be bent by Him? We will go through trials and struggles. Let’s remain steadfastly trusting in His hands. He has the power to amaze.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,