Joining the Father in the Workshop of Life

A few weeks ago I received the most special request from my son. He asked if, for his ninth birthday, I would build him a set of bunkbeds for his room. But that was only part of his request. He also asked if he could help me do the building. I was honored, and I happily obliged.
The first task, after finding the plans online and buying the wood, was to cut up the boards used to build the head and footboards. I taught him to use a tape measure to make a mark down to the sixteenth of an inch. Then I showed him how to lay the square on the board to mark a straight line for the cut. At last, I would cut the board and he would lay it in the correct stack. We repeated this process until all the boards were cut to the correct lengths.
The plans for this bunkbed set called for several hundred pocket holes. This requires the use of a special jig. I showed him how to use the jig. I would clamp the jig down on the board and drill a hole. Then, he would drill the second hole. He drilled about forty or fifty the pocket holes and thought he was really something.
Over the next weeks, we screwed everything together according to the plans and sanded, and sanded, and sanded some more. He would ask me several times a day what was left to do on the project. Each time I would run down the list of what still had to be finished.
Finally, last Friday after school, we were ready to start staining. I showed him how to handle the brush and apply the stain with the grain of the wood to make a smooth finish. After everything was stained then we set about applying the clear top coat of polyurethane. He glowed with excitement as the beauty of the work we had put in began to be revealed by the clear topcoat.
Saturday was the day. He got up early and cleaned his room. With the help of his older sister, we carried all the pieces in and assembled the bed while mom went to purchase the mattress for the bottom bunk. At the end of the day, the boy was on cloud nine and declared more than a few times that this was “the best birthday ever!”
I tell you this story because I think a lot of times we overstate that God is all-powerful and does not need our help. While this is true, if we are content to just let God work and never seek to pitch in with Him, we miss out on so much. No, he does not need our help, but there is so much that we have to learn from Him. Do not forget, it is His desire to be a Father to us and have a relationship with us. That is why He saved us in the first place.
I did not need my boy’s help. I had all the power and knowhow to complete the project on my own. After all, I am thirty-seven years old and have a wealth of experience building things. Likewise, our heavenly Father does not need our help to accomplish His will and plan. The truth is we probably get in the way more than we “help,” but He is a patient Father who loves for us to learn and work at His side.
It is true that “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). There is no work that you could accomplish that is going to win you favor with God. This, however, does not negate the other side of that truth… “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). There is real work that He has for us to do. Work that He prepared beforehand.

Let me encourage you to join your Heavenly Father in the workshop of life. There is so much for you to learn. There is so much for you to do. You can make a real difference and find the joy that comes in living a life that is pleasing to Him.