The Hammer and the Nail

The hammer is an amazing tool, isn't it?  In fact, it's probably the only tool that I know how to use correctly, albeit my aim still leaves much to be desired.  Need to hang a picture?  No problem.  Grab a nail, beat at it a while with the hammer, and there you have it!  Or how about fixing a broken piece of furniture?  Believe it or not, I once bought a small desk at a steal because it was a bit unsteady.  I took it home, pounded a few nails into the back, and the desk still works beautifully today.  Several years ago, my sister was kind enough to buy me my very own tool set, but I must admit, the only thing I've used more often than the hammer is the tape measure.  (And some of the items are still unidentified in my mind.)  I love my hammer!

But as the workman (or workwoman), that's easy for me to say.  Of course I love my hammer.  It makes my job easier.  It saves time and effort.  It is the perfect tool for accomplishing certain tasks.  Who wouldn't love such a device?

Well, the nail, for one.

Let's face it, the nail probably doesn't appreciate the hammer anywhere near as much as I do.  To it, the hammer is cruel and relentless.  It is harsh and wounding.  When the nail spies the hammer drawing near, it doesn't shout in elation but rather recoils in fear.  "Oh no," it cries, "not again.  Please, no more.  I can't take the abuse anymore."  What the nail fails to realize is that without the hammer, it has no purpose.  Hammers and nails go together like peanut butter and jelly, and while the hammer can prove itself useful in other tasks, the nail cannot accomplish its goals in life without the striking of the hammer, for they are both tools in the hand of the workman.

Many times, we feel like that nail, don't we?  When the hammer of crushed dreams, financial strain or job stress begins its incessant pounding, we cry out, "Not again!  I can't take it anymore!"  But what we fail to realize is that without those circumstances, we can never become who it is that God wants us to be.  We cannot accomplish our goals in life, for it is the hammer of circumstance that molds us and makes us into vessels fit for the Master's use.  We, along with our circumstances, are tools in the hand of the Carpenter, and He is creating a masterpiece--one that requires time, patience and a good bit of pounding.

In the meantime, don't curse the hammer.  It's only doing its job.  Everything's going to be okay.  Trust the Carpenter.  He knows what He's doing.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. - James 1:2-4