A craftsman who specialized in carving walking sticks was explaining how he found just the right wood for his special projects. He happened to live in the mountains of North Carolina and whenever he was searching for just the right piece of wood for his artistry he would travel to the top of a mountain where the wind and elements took a toll on the small trees. It was there he would discover a piece of wood that was twisted and gnarled by the elements. The craftsman would then cut the branch and carve it into a beautiful and valuable walking stick. He said, the gnarled wood makes the best walking sticks.
When God looks for servants that will be effective and valuable tools in His hands He often chooses gnarled wood. Peter spoke about the genuineness of our faith that being much more precious than gold, would be tested by fire (1 Peter 1:7). Paul was constantly being arrested, beaten, and threatened. He did without the necessities of life often and suffered constantly. Yet the trials Paul suffered only turned him into one of the greatest
servants of God the world has known. He said in Phil. 1:12 writing from prison: “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel”. Think of all the Bible people who were persecuted, tested and even ignored but were mightily used by God. The heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11 were all examples of gnarled wood.
Are you experiencing the winds of testing or the fires of suffering in your life? Are you wondering why God has allowed you to go through things that leave you at a loss for a reason? Perhaps God is creating in you a piece
of gnarled wood. The stresses and strains of life are used by God in creating a toughness of soul and the beauty
of Christlikeness in us. Rejoice that God the Master Craftsman loves to use gnarled wood like you and me.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation