God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world. God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan …
[Ephesians 1:4-5 CEB]
I’m not very crafty when it comes to being a handyman around the house. Just ask my family. One of the problems is that I am not very patient. I’m working on some project, maybe putting together a new cabinet that we just bought or hanging some curtain rods. I’m in the midst of everything, with parts, tools, and hardware scattered all around me, and I find myself at a point where I need to pound a nail into either the wall or into one of the pieces of the cabinet that I am building. So, I look around through the assortment of tools I have lying at my feet and discover that I can’t find a hammer.
So, what do I do? Do I walk to the garage, open the tool chest, and grab a hammer out of the box? Of course not. That would take too much time. I would just grab the next best thing that’s lying within arm’s reach to hammer that nail in. A pair of pliers, why not? A screwdriver, it’ll work, just use the end of it. Any of those things would work. Come on, admit it. How many here have ever used a pair of pliers to try to drive a nail? I know I have.
Well by golly it works. It may be a little awkward, you miss the nail a few times, maybe smack your finger, and scratched the pliers. But it got the job done. Yet the smart thing to do was to use a hammer, because that’s what a hammer is designed to do—drive nails into walls. My stepfather was a carpenter and I would watch him drive a 3-inch nail into a 2x4 with at the most three strokes. Try to do that with the blunt end of a screwdriver.
A hammer has a fairly clear purpose in life. It was designed to drive in nails. We can ask the same question for ourselves—what is our purpose in life? What am I designed to do? That’s a much more difficult question for us, because basically the question we are asking is “Why am I here?”
In the passage in Ephesians, God had us in mind, even before all of creation, to be his adopted children—to be one of God’s own. If we try to be anything other than one of God’s creations, we can exist, rather crudely. Life will be haphazard. We will end up being damaged just like when trying to drive a nail in with a screwdriver. We will be frustrated and dejected by trying to be something we were not made to be. The 4th century bishop, St. Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Let us strive to live as God made us, God’s vessels of blessings and grace, created for His purposes.