Wood shop in high school was for the boys. Perhaps it was just as well that I stayed away from those power tools and sharp instruments! How the wood got to be so smooth, flat and level remained a mystery, only because I was too disinterested to find out. But when my Dad took up woodworking as a hobby, he taught me to appreciate those smooth flawless surfaces and the effort it took to achieve. The planer shaves off those high places in the wood, making the surface level.
Today’s verse reveals that God is continually working in us. His goal is to mold our desires and actions to mirror His. He has a purpose for this work and we can trust that it is a good purpose because He is good. He is working to make us smooth and level by taking out the high places in us. He is opposed to the proud (James 4:6) and will work to flatten those thoughts of superiority and self sufficiency. The result is something beautiful that He can use!
Having my pride worked on hurts! That blade is shaving off what does not belong. It is humbling to be brought down to the right size. He may use the reprimand of others. He may use a miserable failure and allow me to fall flat on my face! He often uses His Word to convict and point out areas that need flattening. Whatever the case, it is not a comfortable experience. But when it is all over, He gives favor to the one He has humbled.
Oh how I need Your favor today! Lord, keep me smooth and humble.