My New Favorite YouTube Channel and Here's Why
Full disclosure... this blog was supposed to come out sooner, but I've literally been binge watching this YouTube channel all day.
One of the best things in life is discovering new things that interest you. Lately, I've learned that I really enjoy handmade arts and crafts. It all started when the stars aligned and the YouTube algorithm actually recommended something I wanted to watch. It was a leather crafting channel called Corter Leather. (This blog isn't about Corter, but shout out to them.)
I was instantly captivated by the process of seeing something made by hand from start to finish. There was no music or talking, but simply the sound of the work being done. It was just as relaxing as it was fascinating and I found myself torn because I wanted to fall asleep to it, but I also wanted to stay awake to see what happens next.
Since then, I would get more artisan type recommendations, but few really interested me. That's until I saw a thumbnail of a chunk of wood on a wood lathe (the thing that spins the wood around). This caught my eye because I knew the artist was going to make something cool, but I didn't know what to expect. Well, curiosity got the best of me and I watched and that's when the LORD began to speak.
All Things New
One of the most amazing things about woodturning is the level of creativity and imagination involved. I was totally awestruck at how the artist can take a hideous glob of wood and create something stunning. It made me think about God and how He saves us. All of our righteousness is like filthy rags. Our lifestyles are hideous just like those tree trunks and roots. Most people would throw that wood away or just use it for firewood. However, the artist sees something different.
When the artist looks at that block of wood, he doesn't see a chunk of a tree. He sees whatever he is envisioning it to be. He sees its potential. In the same manner, God isn't focused on our current condition. He's focused on what He is molding and making us to be. God sees that something beautiful can come out of what others would call useless.
I especially love the videos where the artist doesn't even tell you what he's making. He just shows the thumbnail of the "before" wood and gives a generic description like, "A Chunk of Cherry" or "A Mossy Log." The viewer has to stick around and see the finished product. That's how our walks with God can be. Where most people see one thing like "a punk drug dealer" or "a petty thief", God is working on something new.
When God makes us new, we can find ourselves doing things we never imagined. Before I was saved, I never imagined teaching Bible study on YouTube, street preaching, evangelizing, or even becoming a musician. However, by submitting myself to the process, God is able to use me how He sees fit and be glorified.
Now, imagine for a second that you are the piece of wood. You have no idea what the creator is making you into. You are being spun around on this machine like crazy. There are parts of you that are being shaved away and broken off. You have no idea what the next step is going to be. The artist is breaking out all of these tools and objects as he's molding you. If you're that piece of wood, it means is that you just have to trust that the artist knows what he's doing and that the final outcome is going to be good.
That's how it is when we are following Christ. Our walk can have many twists and turns, but we just have to trust that God is in control. One thing the LORD spoke throughout the process is how much stuff has to be shaved away to get the final product. You may have a huge chunk of wood that will ultimately become a vase or a bowl. The artist has to be extremely careful, yet extremely firm at the same time.
Apply that to our lives. How much unnecessary stuff does God have to shave off of us to make us into what He's creating us to be? We may have to get rid of negative mindsets, or toxic people, or sinful behaviors. Either way, there is always something that we have to let go if we want to walk with the LORD.
There's another part of this process that speaks to salvation. Sometimes, when the artist begins to cut into the wood and shape it, he'll discover that there are areas on the inside that are broken or rotten. This is not something you can see from looking at the wood from the outside. It's not until you begin to poke and prod and cut away that things begin to uncover. Our walks are a lot like this.
Many of us have wounds and brokenness on the inside that you can't always see. Sometimes we know and we hide them with a good exterior. Other times, we don't even know what we're dealing with until the LORD reveals. One of the most amazing things about this process is that the artist is able to take those flaws and brokenness and turn it into something beautiful.
Sometimes, the artist will repair that broken area with a resin type substance that is usually a beautiful accent color. He takes that vacant area and fills it up with something even better. That's one approach that God takes with us. He fills that broken area with His presences and takes something that was meant for our bad and makes something amazing. This is why our testimonies are so important. People can look at a saved person and see them as a whole and sound individual. But we have to let them know that it's only by God's grace that we are who they see today. We have to tell them that there was a lot of brokenness and healing that made us this way.
Sometimes, the artist will just leave the brokenness because it gives the piece more character. It's almost like the artwork is perfect with its flaws. That's how it is with God. None of us are flawless, but we are made righteous through Christ's perfection. So, even with our flaws, God still sees us as good because He made us. God preferred Jacob with his limp after he wrestled with the angel. God hears Paul pray three times with the thorn in his side, but He loved Paul with that thorn.
Lastly, the artist ends by placing his signature on his piece. He wants everyone to know that this is his masterpiece and he's happy about it. It glorifies him and is a reflection of who he is. This is how God sees us. The scripture says that He seals us with the Holy Spirit. It also says that we have been adopted by God and we can call him Abba Father. He claims us and we belong to Him. That's good news. It's an amazing thing to know that God sees us as something beautiful regardless of how others see us or what we've been through. All we have to do is submit to his process and have faith that He is doing a great work.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.