No Longer Frustrated

I love woodworking but I am not an expert. As a matter of fact I cannot saw a straight line and I seldom measure the same way twice. Recently while working in my shop, I was building a chest and trying to do it perfectly. However, no matter how hard I tried I could not cut the boards correctly. They were either to short, to long, crooked or the angles were wrong. I was getting frustrated.

Then I stopped talking to the wood, and had a stern conversation with myself. I told myself, “ You are doing this because you enjoy it. If you are not enjoying why are you doing it?” With that thought in mind, I decided to just relax and not try so hard.

From then on everything seemed to go smoother. Yes, I still make mistakes. Cuts are often crooked and angles are sometimes wrong. Really my work is full of imperfections. But I no longer stress about it. I choose to let the imperfections be part of the character and beauty of the work. No longer do I concern myself with what others might say. I simply do what I do for the joy of doing it.

Recently my daily Bible reading had me in Numbers chapter 28. As I read, I thought about how frustrated the people must have been as they tried to please God. They had laws to keep that they could never keep. So they had to make many sacrifices to atone for the laws they constantly broke. They were imperfect people trying to be perfect. They lived their lives trying to please God. But they never could no matter how hard they tried.

For many people worshiping God is frustrating and no fun. If this is you, then stop trying so hard. Relax, rest in God. Love Him with all your heart, soul, might and mind. I thank God there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ. The Spirit of life is in Jesus and He has set us free from the laws we cannot keep. In the past we tried to please God, but we are imperfect and cannot. So let us stop trying to please God and simply love Him with the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Then we will no longer be frustrated.

Douglas & Deborah Huff


Useless, an old building torn down and reduced to a pile of worthless wood. Good for nothing, really all it was fit for was to be burned or left to rot. Looking at the heap of old planks I thought, maybe there is something good in there. One by one I examined the old planks. Everyone of them was rough. Twisted and warped there was not a straight edge to be found. It was just an old pile of useless lumber

I took the best of these crooked boards, pull out all the nails and ran them through a planer to make them all the same thickness. Then using hammers, saws, clamps and glue I cut and banged and squeezed the old wood into a box. That is what it was, full of nail holes, scars and blemishes it was just an ugly box.

But then I covered it with polyurethane. The polyurethane did something wonderful. It highlighted all the imperfections. Now the nail holes and scars are no longer blemishes instead they are character marks. All the mistakes I made, now look as though they were planned. With the coating of polyurethane, the ugly box suddenly turned into a beautiful chest.

As usual I see a Spiritual metaphor.

Many people are like that old pile of wood. Warped and twisted their lives are fit only to be left to rot. But they try. With their own abilities they work hard to make something of their lives. They cut, hammer, glue and squeeze until they turn their life into an ugly box. They have done the best they could but still their life is useless. After all they are amateurs. They need the help of the Master Carpenter.

Jesus is the Master Carpenter. He invites you to surrender your hopeless life to Him. If you will allow Him, He will fill you and cover you with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can highlight your imperfections and scars turning them into trophies of grace. The polyurethane I used turned an ugly box into a beautiful chest. In the same way, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can turn your life into a beautiful vessel that is suitable to adorn the throne room of Heaven.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends