In my last post, the Father came to play catch with me. In this one, I want to tell you about Jesus the carpenter coming to build a barn with me.
I’d recently moved up to the North Georgia Mountains and really felt like God was calling me to get goats. At the time, I had nowhere to pen them up, so I had to build a barn. As I was researching things, I met a guy named Chandler and we became friends. His mother had a small working farm, and to a lesser degree, I was trying to build the same on my property. I’d go over and check out their set-up and I loved what they did. So I designed a barn that would house my chickens and goats. It was fully functional, with a milking station, roost and laying box area, vet workshop, feed and hay storage section, and tool shed. It was awesome! I still kind of marvel at it—and here is probably why.
Chandler came to me one day and said, “I would like to help you.” I asked him how much he’d charge me and he said, “No, no, I just want to help you!” Well this floored me. I thought, “You do?”
We proceeded to lay out the foundation, get the lumber and even used his tools, truck and tractor. It was long hours of building a barn from the ground up. I was in awe of this whole thing, because I knew something was happening beyond just building a barn. It wasn’t until one day when I looked up at Chandler fastening down tin on the roof that I saw clearly what was happening. It wasn’t Chandler at all—it was Jesus. Jesus had worked with me day after day as the Carpenter. I don’t even know if Chandler was saved, but there he was with Christ’s message – “I want to build this barn with you.” The whole time we built it, I had a kind of cloud about me, and then I realized it was Christ’s presence.
Never had I had anyone jump in and work with me like that. As a child, though my father was a homebuilder, I didn’t have training with hammer and nail. Again, I was maintaining best I could, and new horizons were daunting. But here was Christ, the Carpenter, taking on the task to come shoulder to shoulder with me and work with me. He Himself wanted to do this with me, and He would use whoever He chose to bring this about.
So what relevance do these two stories have to anyone but me? Well in part, I think they’re examples of “Not I but Christ.” I always thought “not I but Christ” was a work of my surrendering and getting out of the way. I believed somehow, that it was the effort to choose. I want to tell you, I believe differently now. I think that these stories display an aspect of Galatians 2:20.
It wasn’t Chandler, but Christ. It wasn’t the young man playing catch, but Christ. When we are in Christ, Christ becomes all things, not only in us, but also for us. Neither of these boys was particularly godly, but because I was God’s, so were they. I’ve viewed this scripture very narrowly, but as I’ve asked God for Him to open this up to me, He brought these stories to mind.
I still want to see what the scripture means in my very own body. But this is a seeing that expresses how He’s able to manifest Himself to His own, even through the unwitting. I bless Him that He’s unhindered by anything because He is in ALL THINGS!
For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.