We often talk about how hard it is to know God’s will for our lives, but let’s get real. Knowing God’s will is rarely the hard part; what’s hard is doing the part of God’s will we already know but pretend that we don’t. And then, hurting ourselves and others, we ignore a hundred warning signs, step on the gas, and drive right over a cliff. We’ve all done it. We say we want God’s wisdom; then we ignore the ways he sends it.
A few years ago I decided to build a shed. I had in mind a shed/greenhouse, twelve feet by sixteen feet, rustic, an old “saltbox” style barn. Simple. Nothing fancy. Fine, but I couldn’t keep it simple.
I bought books and perused plans, tacked together what I liked best, scribbled notes in a yellow pad. Each time I got a section designed, I’d add to the “materials list” what I’d need to nail together the flagship of this pastor’s attempts to impersonate a carpenter.
I soon made the happy discovery that in addition to building materials, I’d need a few new tools. The most important was one I could hardly wait to get my hands on: a framing nail gun. A man’s machine if there ever was one, it was without doubt the finest and most efficient tool of the project, which was finally completed and has become a shed/greenhouse/man-cave/magic castle for grandkids/sermon-factory all in one.
It boggles my mind to try to imagine the infinite and eternal Creator planning the world in which he would nestle and nurture his soon-to-be-created children. Before the world was created and set spinning, our mighty Creator planned its oceans and their boundaries. Before he flung the stars across the sky, God knew where he would sculpt the ocean canyons and call forth springs. In his plan, God saw every particle of dust, every vast mountain range. The greatest Architect of all, God “marked out” the foundations of the earth.
But before God called into being even one molecule of this world, Proverbs 8 tells us that he “brought forth” the greatest “tool,” the “wisdom” with which he would fashion all things. Wisdom would not only be his tool for all of creation, wisdom would be the “craftsman” by his side completely delighting in his work and “rejoicing always before him.”
When God created in his own image the human children he fashioned to be the climax of creation and the objects of his deepest love, wisdom was there and “delighted in mankind.”
When I was building my shed, one of my sons helped me raise its frame, and it was a joy to see him wield my favorite tool with real skill. One of the most wonderful truths of Proverbs 8 is that God the Creator invites us, his children, to share in his joy as we seek, use, and are blessed by his favorite tool, wisdom. God built the universe with that tool, and he promises his children that if we heed his instruction and trust his plan, we can always use the best of his tools, his wisdom, to build our lives. If we refuse to use it and leave it in the box, . . .
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at