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Points to Ponder: Some assembly required

Points to Ponder
Some assembly required
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

"Some assembly required"...
Those can be challenging - if not dreaded - words when you tear off the wrapper from a new toy - especially if you are the parent who is expected to know how to do the required assembly.
You can recall how perfectly easy it looked on the commercials. But when you had the thing in pieces before you on the floor, the task became daunting. Assembly instructions now come in about five different languages; the English is just about as easy to follow as the other four. And with some toys, you need pliers and wire cutters just to cut the parts free from the packaging.
"Some assembly required" translates into a multiple-step, trial-and-error process that could take hours if not all day.
I sometimes think that's why God took my dad home to Heaven at the tender age of 67. It was a reward and a relief - never again would he be called on to fix it, put it together, or redo what I messed up. I say this in jest, as I wish I had him around to call on. He could fix anything.
But that line "Some assembly required" says more than we may initially consider. In the new packaging there is a new, perfect, freshly made item. The creator and builder know the potential function it had been designed and produced to perform. But the hands of those who receive it as their own, must work with it; to figure out how it goes together, how it is cared for, and how it must be handled. All of this must be considered in order to enable this new thing to be its best, to achieve its potential, to fulfill the vision of the one who knew what it could do long before he/she produced the first model.
It is a good analogy for how to see other people. One of my favorite verses is what God said to a teenage boy. He had called him to be a prophet.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
We have other examples in scripture where God had the design and purpose for individual persons in mind before they were even conceived: Samson (Judges 13), Josiah, the reformer king (I Kings 13:1-3; II Kings 23), and John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25, 57-80), to name a few.
With just these few examples it seems to me that God knows every person. He is the Creator. As David says of Him in Psalm 139:16:
"Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them."
So when God looks at a person He can see their potential. He knows what He can do with that one person's life if that one will follow the instructions and submit to the leading of the One who knows them best.
But, when those persons arrive in this world we see the packaging; we see talents, strengths, and weaknesses begin to emerge. We don't know the full plan as his/her Creator does, but we have the instructions, the Bible. We have 24-hour access to the Builder (prayer) and we have those words that remind us of our role:
"Some assembly required."
No one comes into the world perfectly put together. And of those who give their lives to the Lord and proclaim Him as their God and Savior, still there is "some assembly required." Each of us is a work in progress. We have to remind ourselves to be patient with each other. Some need a lot more work before there is noticeable progress.
As you begin another new year, where are you compared to a year ago? How is the assembly going? Are you reading the instructions a little more often?
It is a new day in a new month in a new year. Where would you like to be a year from now?
What's the next step? You're already a year ahead if you get to it today.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45AM and 10:45PM.

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