FROM “OO-OUCH!” TO “OH WOW!”

ouch 1When a wood sculptor wants to create a work of art, he starts with a log and begins to fashion it with a sharp chisel.

ouch 3 ouch 2He meticulously cuts it, shapes it, scrapes it, sands it, digs again, cuts again etc until he has his finished product.  The once unattractive log, which might otherwise have ended being burned in the fireplace, has now become a beautiful masterpiece that can be displayed with pride by the one who fashioned it.

I marvelled at the skill of wood carvers when I watched them at work.  From scraps of discarded timber or driftwood they made objects of beauty.

ouch 4I was like a piece of useless driftwood, running from one activity to another, seeking something to make life seem worth living, but never finding any lasting satisfaction or any happiness. Like the driftwood, I had no life in me.

ouch 5But then, when 22 years old and at my lowest peak, God stepped into my life.  In a series of incredible “coincidences” (read God-ordered events) He drew me to Himself, gave me understanding of His Word and gave me faith to believe that Christ died for my sins, paying the penalty that was due to me; that He was buried but rose from the dead; that I was redeemed and reconciled to God through His finished work on Calvary.  I became a blood-bought, adopted child of the omnipotent, living, triune God 8th June 1958.

He changed my life completely .  . .        
. . . But praise God, He didn’t stop there! 

I became a new creation in Christ
and enjoyed all the abundance of the blessings of the new life . . .
but with God, there is always more

God’s plan for His children is given in
Ephesians 4:13 
Till we all come . . . to a perfect man,
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Or as the Amplified Bible puts it
Nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection

Ephesians 5:27 tells us Christ will present us to Himself
not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing,
but holy and without blemish

Or as Jude 24 puts it
faultless before the presence of His glory

God’s work in our lives can sometimes be painful as He shapes us and moulds us, but His ultimate purpose is to produce a MASTERPIECE!

James had good advice for us, as he detailed our correct response to the trials, hardships, challenges we face as God uses them to ‘grow’ us.  Summarising the COUNT / KNOW / LET / ASK of James 1:2-5 . . .

We can COUNT it all joy when we are beset by trials,
because we KNOW the purposes of God.
We can LET God’s maturing process work in us,
while we ASK for wisdom,
so we won’t waste the opportunity, but will use it to grow and mature.

Yes, God’s work in our lives can sometimes be painful as He shapes us and moulds us, but His ultimate purpose is to produce a MASTERPIECE!

1 John 3:2 
we know that, when He shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM

Now, THAT is a masterpiece!  . . .
A work created by the Master, to His praise and glory!

Adversity is God’s blessing in disguise.

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About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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27 Responses to FROM “OO-OUCH!” TO “OH WOW!”

  1. JC says:

    Hello,
    I couldn’t help but comment on this…it is amazing what a sculptor can do with a discarded piece of wood. And it is amazing what God can do with ‘discarded’ people. Praise Him…
    Thank you for your transparency…I wanted to share this post with you…
    http://wp.me/s3JrU4-79

    It’s about the potter and the clay.
    Be blessed
    JC

    Like

    • Amazing indeed! I hate to think where I would be had the Lord not stepped into my life 55 years ago. He changed me completely and has continued His work ever since. Truly an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  2. Great insight re. the carvings, and how believers are ‘molded,’ The work is outstanding, and the connection with being transformed into the image of Christ was nicely done. Amazing what God can do with a handful of dust…

    Like

    • Amazing indeed the work He does in our lives. He changed me completely 55 years ago and continues His work in me, changing me and moulding me. One day soon, His work will be finished and I will be presented faultless before His throne. [Ephesians 5:27. Jude 24]

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  3. I’m so thankful that God isn’t finished moulding me yet. It is many times painful but His glory always comes shining through.

    Thank you for this post. I am following you now and I hope and look forward to your future posts as God allows you. God Bless.

    Mark Davis
    http://christiansareus.com

    Like

    • Hi Mark. Welcome.
      While we never welcome times of His moulding us, we are most certainly thankful for them as He grows us more and more into the plan He has for us – “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ [Ephesians 4:13]
      As I look back, it is easy to see that the times of my greatest spiritual growth were the times of my deepest problems. Praise God for His constant and continual work in His blood-bought, adopted children!

      Like

  4. Rob Barkman says:

    Angela,

    So glad to see you are back…. you were missed. My prayers continue. Lord bless you.

    Like

    • Thank you Rob. It is now more than three weeks since I’ve been able to sit here.
      I hope to be able to spend a LITTLE time here each day now, but I’m afraid I have deleted most notification emails, because “catching up” would be impossible. I hope to be back to ‘normal’ soon.
      Thanks for your caring and especially for your prayers.

      Like

  5. Loved This post Angela. I am so thankful for what God’s chisel of adversity has accomplished in my life.

    Like

    • Praise God that while adversities come from the devil and his forces, our amazing God is always there, using them to ‘chisel’ us more and more into the mould He plans for us. His ‘chisel of adversity’ is never welcomed by us, but afterwards, with hindsight, we thank and praise Him for the way He used it to “grow” us.

      Like

  6. ptl2010 says:

    A Blessed Mothers’ Day Angela. Good thing The Lord touched you so many years ago , if not i would never meet you. Praise God for sustaining you all these years. What He has begun in you will continue until the Day of Jesus Christ. Praise The Lord He will give you strength and grace sufficient for the day. Oh Wow!

    Like

    • Thank you Evelyn. And a blessed Mother’s Day to you, as you give thanks for a wonderful Mother who prayed for you and taught you to love the Lord. Yes, we praise Him for His continued work in us and for the REALITY of His abiding presence as we love and serve Him.

      Like

  7. alwayzhis says:

    Such an honest, from your heart AND from the Holy Spirit indwelling you, expose’ of your “new life” in Christ. We, as the Father’s adopted children… purchased by the blood of the Pure Lamb of God (Jesus) have been in the Father’s hands since the day we were born. How awesome is that?? Leaves me without words to know that God’s love has always been with me… through good, bad, happy, lonely, broken-hearted, filled with hate, insecure and on and on. Thank you my beautiful sister for always bringing the “foundational” truths of being His adopted children.
    Sending sisterly love and blessings
    Stephanie

    Like

    • Yes, Stephanie, I recognise the work of God throughout my life, including the first 22 years when I wasn’t aware of Him. He was there all the time, and I can say it was only because of Him and His intervention on several occasions that I remained living, and only because of Him that I didn’t follow many paths that beckoned. “How awesome is that??” indeed! And how totally awesome that He stepped into my life in such an undeniable way, revealing Himself to me, giving me faith to believe, and making me His very own child!

      We serve an incredibly amazing God, who loves us with an everlasting love and continues to work in us, moulding us into Christlikeness. We are one day closer to that blessed time when we will be presented faultless before His throne.

      Now, how awesome is that??!!

      Like

  8. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for reminding us that He has plans for us and a work in us that will be completed! I am reading Streams In The Desert, a devotional, and it is mostly all about the blessings in trials and adversities. I am really loving it! God bless you so much for the way you encourage us and speak His Truth to our hearts!

    Like

    • Debbie, we do not welcome adversities. In fact, our response is the opposite, but AFTER they are over, we can look back with thankfulness because we can see how the Lord used them to “grow” us. I know I can praise Him for the toughest times and trust Him in whatever happens.
      I used Streams in the Desert many years ago, soon after becoming a Christian. I can’t remember much except the title, but I know I appreciated it at the time.

      Debbie, I am so sorry to hear you are not blogging ‘for a while’ and I sincerely hope you will return soon. I will miss your ‘simple poems’ which are truly words given by the Lord and a great blessing. I know He will continue to bless you and use you to bless others in whatever you do.

      Like

  9. Anna Popescu says:

    Praise God that He always seeks us, Cloudwatcher! And to think of ourselves as God’s masterpieces is amazing considering how sinfully corrupt we naturally are. Thank Him for His unending love for us…

    Like

    • When we think of what we were before we became blood-bought, adopted children of the living God, the idea of ever being a masterpiece is inconceivable . . . but we know it WILL be so, because He has promised and He cannot break His Word.

      Praise God that as we look back, we can see His constant, continual work in us and we praise Him for His amazing work in changing us. Then, when we look forward to the time when we shall be “like Him” and presented faultless before the throne of glory, and we know it is ALL about Him and His work and we will praise Him with a sincere heart with no distractions.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  10. Rob Barkman says:

    HI Angela, what a blessing it is to look back on our lives and see the Lord’s hand in bringing us to salvation and then continuing to from and make us in His image. I appreciate your past testimony and your continuing display of His grace in your life. Lord bless you.

    Like

  11. Hallelujah! Angela, we have a friend in Jesus who is willing to turn our lives around. The only thing that stands between us and Him is our unwillingness to pick up our cross and follow him. One famous song writer writes the following, “What a friend we have in Jesus,
    all our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    all because we do not carry
    everything to God in prayer.”

    Thanks so much for sharing. God blesses.

    Like

    • Thanks for adding that Noel.
      How true that He is more willing and desirous of changing us than we are of being changed by Him. Thankfully, He continues His work as He gently (and often not so gently) moulds us into the person He intends us to be.

      Like

  12. optimisticgladness says:

    This is refreshing. Love your last sentence!

    Like

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