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The Grain of Truth Grows Slowly

In CT magazine, singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken writes:

I bought my Santa Cruz acoustic guitar a few years ago at a used music shop in Tennessee. It is sturdy and well made, crafted by hand. A close look at the grain of the wood of my guitar reveals a catalog of past experiences. The instrument’s smoothed surface is a visual timeline, tiny stripes shaped by years of rain and drought. An instrument’s sound tells us something of its origin, whether it is made from new or old or sunken or recycled wood.

A luthier is a craftsperson who builds string instruments the old-fashioned way. Ben Niles’s 2007 documentary Note by Note follows the making of a single Steinway concert piano from the Alaskan forest to the concert hall. Technicians describe their work on a concert grand which, at one stage of the manufacturing process, rests on its side for 12 patient months as the wood of its frame conforms into a piano-shaped curve.

But in real life, transition can foster impatience, like wearing braces or anticipating a wedding after a proposal. During the slow work, we may wonder who we are as we wait for what’s yet to be revealed in us.

But there is a grain written in our design, and we have a skillful designer who first made us and is now forming us into who we are meant to be. During our gradual transformation, we become acquainted with God, who personally and graciously tends to us. He is both the creator and luthier, shaping instruments of his glory. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).

If, decades ago, we had been there in the forest where my Santa Cruz guitar began, if we had witnessed a tiny Adirondack spruce seed sprouting, vulnerable to every storm and footstep, we would surely doubt that the guitar I now hold in my hands could ever be made. Yet here it is, slowly formed and beautiful. And this gives me hope. God will one day cause us to resonate his love like a well-tuned instrument. Not on the merits of our performance but through God’s own hands, skillfully activating within us the melody of heaven.

Possible Preaching Angle:

To become who God is making us takes time and trust.

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