“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. “
Growing up as a Loeffelbein, there was always a project going on in the garage. Something was being built or repaired or modified or enhanced almost all of the time. In my early childhood my dad was racing in the jalopy class. I don’t remember what the specifications were but they were mostly homebuilt open wheelers. At the same time he was also building street rods, one I remember the most, a 39 Ford coupe.
The strongest memories from those days were approaching the garage, the door open, and my dad, my brother and my dads friends bent over, and crawled under, and poking into and hanging out of the car projects. I remember the smells of grease and oil and I remember the sparks. Showers of sparks. Sometimes from welding and sometimes from grinding. Lots of sparks. Sprays and geysers of sparks. I may actually be superimposing years of memories on top of each other but I don’t think it will change the validity of my point.
I feared those sparks. Somehow my older brother either wasn’t afraid or worked past it or around it. Because my brother faced the fear, No it wasn’t that. My brother knew and loved my father and felt safe in his presence even if there were sparks and loud noises.
God has invited us all into his garage, his work shop. There are some scary and surprising things going on inside. He is busy creating, restoring and repairing humanity.
Some of us never look into the garage. We have no knowledge of or interest in Gods creative process. Some of are drawn in but see the sparks and are frightened away. But some of us move past to meet the maker of the sparks and get to know the father God who creates and repairs and redeems.
I am reminded of what the ghost of Christmas present says in A Christmas Carol, “come in and know me better man!”
He invites us in, but not just to watch. He wants us to participate and he wants to work on us too.
The work God wants to do in our lives is almost always in our hearts. Sometimes it’s actually heart transplant surgery, where he takes out a heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. Sometimes it’s the deconstruction of walls we’ve built around us. Sometimes it’s tearing down the high platforms of pride In ourselves or the lofty expectations we have for others. Sometimes it’s to remove cancers of hate. Sometimes it’s to repair wounds inflicted by others. There is electrical work to do. Sometimes our brains get wired wrong. God untangles the mixed messages. When any switch a person flips on us makes us angry or when we flip the love and respect switch but it keeps opening the lust faucet.
To know God is to love God. If we don’t love him yet, We don’t we know him yet. He is our Father. He has the role of provider and disciplinarian but he also has the role of the great one who loves, who holds and helps, who protects and prompts, who leads and guides. He created us but not like our parents, blindly, just hoping and guessing what we will be and what will will do. He created us, not as a toy but as a tool. We were created with and for a purpose. We have an enemy who wants to distract and destroy us and diminish or destroy our purpose.
We need to fear and honor this great and awesome God who said to nothing, “let there be…. “ and everything we know came into existence. To fear and honor him is the beginning of wisdom, but to know him is find out about ourselves, first that we fit into a plan and next, how we fit into his plan. To know him is to be loved and cared for by him, and to be guided by and disciplined and trained by him. We have value because he created us on purpose and for a purpose.
In All of this is God is waiting for us but we have to say the words. Like in a wedding, the honeymoon night awaits. The wedding rehearsal does not a marriage make. It is very similar to the wedding but it is not the same thing. A wedding, saying the vows and exchanging the rings, that makes a wedding.
God longs and waits for us but we are stopped from joining him by a wall of sin, (Wall or crevasse) a dividing point. Jesus died to remove the barrier and fill in the gap so there is no more division.
In his letter to the believers in Collisi Paul said this: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
God is inviting us into the garage, partly for work we need done on us, and partly so we can participate in what he is doing in and for others. Will you brave the sparks with me and join in God’s plan to restore broken lives, mine and yours?