I recently heard a speaker recount an experience he had as a young boy growing up in the hills of Tennessee. He was at an old general store watching some locals sitting on the porch turning pieces of wood into piles of shavings on the floor.
“You’ve been doing that all day,” he said to one man “and you haven’t made nothin’ yet.”
“We’re whittling,” was the reply. “Whittling is when you turn something into nothin’, but carving is when you turn nothin’ into something.”
Wow! What a depiction of the difference between the intentions of God’s Kingdom and the kingdom of the evil one. Satan is into whittling. He starts with a person, a plan, a dream and when he’s finished there is nothing but a pile of the shavings of despair, destruction and emptiness.
The Whittler is not content until he’s stolen everything he can.
God, however, is big into carving. He begins with nothing, like the vacuous void before Genesis chapter one. And when He’s done the seas shimmer, the mountains sparkle, the earth glistens with hope and possibility. In Mark 5, He begins with a shell of a man who was so much of a ‘nothing’ that there was room for a multitude of demons to live within him. When the carving is complete there is an evangelist who spreads the Gospel to ten cities!
God turns water into wine … darkness into light … poverty into ‘more than enough.’ He always leaves more than He starts with. In his presence is the power and resources to turn any nobody into a stellar somebody. And not just turn nothing into something, but into something quite special.
This week, ask the Creator Carver to reverse what the Whittler has started in your life. God is even able to turn shavings into lives of grace, beauty and eternal purpose.
Romans 4:17,18 The Message
May there be joy for your journey!