The Work of a Carpenter

Carpentry is hard work. I don’t know this from experience, but from observation. My husband occasionally builds things – something to make our lives easier. Sometimes I hang around just in case I’m needed and learn a lot from watching him work.

DSC06653Carpentry has to be precise. If things don’t fit together the way they are supposed to, modifications have to be made and that is even more work. Unfortunately, you can’t count on every piece of lumber being exactly the size you expected or that it will be perfectly straight. Some are bowed or have knots in them or some other imperfection that results in adjustments having to be made down the line. One place where I may help is at the lumberyard. I point out pieces of lumber that are bowed. It is best to leave those behind.

DSC06654Although many things made by carpenters are really works of art, that doesn’t seem to be a description that is associated with the profession. Carpentry seems to be an unsung profession. Few people realize what goes into building a table, a chair, a desk, a room or a house. By the time the product is ready for us, the real work is covered up. All the nails, screws, extra support boards and all the things it takes to make the piece sturdy are hidden. Only the carpenter, who often works alone, knows what is really underneath it all.

As a Christian, I have often reflected on Jesus’ choice of the man who would help raise Him. Joseph was a carpenter, evidently a quiet, faithful man who was obedient to God when he was told Mary would be giving birth to the Christ child. Children often take on the profession of their fathers. Jesus had to be about His Heavenly Father’s business, but while He was in Joseph’s home, surely He worked beside him and learned some lessons about carpentry. How amazing it is that the Son of God who created the world with only His Word was taught by Joseph to measure twice and cut once!

The finished product for carpenters is a nice piece of furniture, cabinetry, or an addition on a house or maybe a house itself. Sometimes the object is simple. Sometimes it is ornate. Every object that a carpenter makes can bring him pride because he knows the time and effort he put into it.

The finished product for the carpenter Jesus is a person who can glorify Him. Only He knows how much love, time and effort He put into working out the knots in our lives so that we might become someone He will be proud of.

Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? (Mark 6:3).

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