Yesterday I spent some time in the woodshed. This is my sanctuary. The place where I go to hear, listen and talk to God. I haven’t been there much lately because I’ve been so busy doing church stuff.
I’m feeling burnt out, wiped out, pulled, pushed and just plain tired. So I’ve decided to take a sabbatical. I’ve gotten lost in all the busyness of “doing church” and I’ve lost my way with God. I feel like my vision is impaired.
So, I went to the woodshed to breathe in God and breathe out peace. When I am standing there at my scrollsaw with wood in hand I often let the wood “speak” to me. This wood really spoke to me and I would like to tell you what I heard, smelled and felt.
My friend Betsy went on this amazing journey to Israel last year and she brought me back numerous things. The favorite of them all is the “Do you love me” rock from the Sea of Galilee and the olive wood. The rock sits on my desk and I will often sit and hold it and think about what Betsy told me and ask myself how much do I love Jesus? I flip the rock back and forth and think about Jesus walking there on the beach where she picked up the rock. It causes me to pause and reflect on God’s Word.
This olive wood has done the same thing. She gave me several pieces and they have been sitting here in the studio for months, just waiting to be made into something. I have been waiting for the right time. Yesterday was it. I pulled my stool up to my little saw and began to cut the wood. As I cut I noticed an aroma coming from the wood. An aroma like no other wood I have ever worked with. It was light at first but the more I cut the stronger it got. It reminded me of something, but what? Hmmm. I cut some more and I began to think about the smell. It was strong and pungent like wine. Have you ever been inside a winery where there are oak casks lined up one after another? Well, this wood smelled like the inside of a wine barrel. That immediately brought to my mind the scripture from the wedding at Cana-Jesus’ first miracle of turning the water to wine.
From Water to Wine
1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”
4Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.”
5She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”
6-7Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.
8“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.
9-10When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”
11This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12After this he went down to Capernaum along with his mother, brothers, and disciples, and stayed several days.
This was the first miracle. This was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The best was saved for last. Just like life-the best life for us is last-eternal life.
As I thought about the miracle I was also reminded of the wedding and the wedding feast that God has waiting for us. Weddings unite people. God wants to be united with us. Jesus is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride. He is waiting to be united with us forever and ever. When we are, then we can feast on Him forever. God longs for us to be in a relationship with Him-do you long to be in one with Him?
Jesus saves the best for last.
It’s funny how God can get our attention through something as simple as the smell of sawn wood. I love my Lord and I love what He did for me. He poured His grace over my wounds and covered his body in stripes to save me from the worst nightmare ever.