The Blacksmith's Shop

By Max Lucado

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools. There are tools on the junk pile: outdated, broken, dull, rusty. They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.

There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable. They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.

There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, mobile. They lie ready in the blacksmith's tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.

Some people lie useless: lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed. They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.

Others lie on the anvil: hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearing. They welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith's hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.

Others lie in their Master's hands: well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive. They respond to their Master's forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all.

We are all somewhere in the blacksmith's shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master's hands on the anvil, or in the tool chest. (Some of us have been in all three.)

From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire…I'm sure that somewhere you will see yourself.

Paul spoke of becoming "an instrument for noble purposes." And what a becoming it is! The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the hands of the Master- it's a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.

And for you who make the journey—who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God's anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose—take courage, for you await the privilege of being called "God's chosen instruments."

A blacksmith is someone who is an expert in the trade of making tools. In his shop, he himself takes care and maintains a set of tools specifically designed for the purpose of making other tools for different use and applications. Without his tool-making tools he will not able to make other tools.

If people are tools and the world as the area of application for these different tools, then;

1. do you know what category of tool are you?
2. do you know the area of your application?
3. do you know whose hands are supposed to be using you?
4. does your capability match with the amount of work?
5. are you properly functioning the way you were designed to?
6. are you being maintained and cared properly?
7. does your owner know how to properly use you?

Understand the following messages for they were intended to speak in today's season and times:

a. Messages & Notes - December 24, 2007
b. Messages & Notes - December 29, 2007
c. Emery Wheel