I’ve been working on a tool chest the past few weeks in the shop. (Here’s a picture that I took of it right before Christmas. Still not sure where that cat in the window came from.) Once finished, the chest will hold many of the hand tools that I use, my chisels, my backsaws, my hand planes, etc.
Recently, I’ve been working on the lid. The panel for the lid is glued up, but now I am tasked with cutting it to size. The issue is that my handsaw skills are not quite up to par, and I want to make sure its cut square. It’s also too big to fit in my table saw safely the way the saw is currently equipped. So what that means is that I’ve spent the last few trips in the shop working on a large crosscut sled for my table saw.
I won’t bore you with anymore woodworking details but the point is this: Sometimes we have to equip ourselves before we can accomplish what we want to accomplish. Sometimes we have to spend a bit of time in preparation, doing something, making something, learning something, before we can move on to the actual task we want to achieve.
I thought about that the other day. I have spent a good deal of my shop time making this sled. I realized that the tool chest itself hadn’t actually progressed in several days, but the fact is I can’t move on with the chest until the sled gets built first.
I feel like this in my spiritual life sometimes too. I feel as if I haven’t progressed, as if God has forgotten about me, or as if maybe my faith will never move any deeper than where it already is. And yet I can’t help but to think that God is still at work during these times. Just because we don’t notice any changes doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work equipping us, teaching us, strengthening us for what is yet to come.
Just because we may not feel like we’re going anywhere doesn’t mean that work isn’t taking place. In fact, I would venture to guess that it’s in these moment when God Spirit is most at work within us, equipping us for the work of God’s Kingdom yet to come.