Commissioned: Make

As I sit here at my kitchen table, a billowing cloud of smoke is swirling up through the spaces between the boards of the deck on the back of our home. At any normal home, combustion necessary to generate a smoke cloud as large as the one drifting across our backyard would be cause for alarm, but not at our house. I can calmly sip my tea because I know that the source of smoke is my oldest son, Ryan, working at his forge. It’s not the normal pastime for the average young adult male these days, but for years, (and the help of youtube) he’s taught himself some pretty impressive metal-working skills.

20150911_154350He and Clif have constructed both a coal burning (hence the smoke) and a propane forge, and with them, he’s worked tirelessly to transformed some unremarkable pieces of metal -like old mower blades, discarded car springs, railroad spikes and dull saw blades- into knives and swords that look like they might have come out of a scene from The Lord of the Rings. And deservedly so, he’s been pleased with the fruit of his efforts and enjoys showing them to his friends.

DSCN0346Most of the guys who examine his work up close usually say something like “Oh, that’s so cool. I wish I could do that.” Well, what they don’t realize is the huge investment of time and hard work that came before the finished product.

The same thing can be said of Christians who are trying to obey the Great Commission.

Stories of people who dramatically come to Christ remind us of the power of Jesus to take the ordinary and do the extraordinary. But what we don’t often appreciate is the effort of those who have tirelessly invested in the lives of these transformed believers. While we see the finished product (i.e. salvation) of a new convert, what remains hidden are the months, years and maybe decades of prayer, love, encouragement, teaching and patience that people thanklessly invested so the Holy Spirit could use them to soften a hardened heart enough for the Gospel to penetrate and do its transforming work.

Jesus said “As you go, make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18) “Make” is the operative word in that sentence. And to make anything requires effort. Often a lot of it. Though we all can have lofty wishes about being used by God, most of the time nothing really happens until we move past the “wishing” stage, and are ready to roll up our sleeves, and get busy to actually do something.

swordThis is the point where many potential laborers lose heart and some step away from the task. In this age of instant meals and googled answers to any question, we all too often lack the perspective of a master blade-smith who knows that every piece of metal requires preparation beforehand and patience while it develops into a useful weapon that’s ready to take into battle.

Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

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14 thoughts on “Commissioned: Make

  1. What a powerful reminder and such a fabulous analogy. It takes a lot to “make” – I’m so thankful for all the work done at the cross and for all the work it takes to carry that message to others.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

  2. Karen, great illustration! There are certainly exciting moments in the life of faith, but there are also days of remaining faithful even when it feels like a drudgery or as if it’s not working. Thanks so much for linking to Everyday Testimony. 🙂

  3. Yours is the message of my heart. We MUST be intentional about sharing Christ with others. We must be alert for the opportunities around us. We must be ready and we must be willing. Thanks Karen!

  4. What a great analogy and reminder! Its always the things that you invest yourself in that turn out the best results. Not always easy but worth it! Linking up with you at #womenwithibtention 🙂

  5. The truth you speak is indisputable Karen. Thanks for sharing about your son’s passion for such a difficult and forgotten trade of blade-smith. You made it easy to identify effort and results. Often my greatest periods of growth come from continual effort during difficult times when the answer from God come gradually. One my motivating factor to endure is His gift of salvation through His grace. God leaves us no excuses not to give Him our efforts and Christ’s sacrifice brings me to tears. GBY my friend.

  6. Very well said, Karen! Your son’s patience and effort are to be commended in an era where that is not a common set of character traits (no matter what is being pursued). The analogy you use for the Great Commission fits well. It reminds me as well of our removal of a huge maple tree in our lawn a few years ago due to concerns about its proximity to our home. There was no question of how large it was, but what we didn’t see was how vast and thick the root structure of the tree was, extending farther than we could measure or see; but it was the source of all the tree’s nourishment and growth and stability.
    Blessings on your day!
    Pam

    1. I think your analogy about the tree parallels the fruit of our lives when we give ourselves to God’s purposes in the world. We draw strength and nourishment from Him… and there’s no way we can see or measure how far God can extend it. Thanks Pam!

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