It’s 5:55 p.m. on Monday, and after 3 gruelling days of rubbing the stain into the wood of my built-in bookshelves, the staining work is finished. Little did I realize the pain and aches that this step in the task would require. From laying on my back to reach the underside of the bottom shelf, to standing on a ladder with my head next to the ceiling, all the while contorting my arms in a way never meant for them to go, I managed to cover the wood with the stain bought to bring out the wood’s grain and match the room’s décor.
I now turn my attention to do the finishing work, putting the sealing protective finish called polycrylic on the wood. Advertised for “beauty and clarity”, it will give the wood grain a clear gloss to reveal its nature. This should be an easier task, as the liquid is brushed on with strokes which follow the grain. And WA-LA! After a few hours drying time, some touching up of the walls that have gotten in the way of the stain, I will be ready to UNPACK my MY BOOKS! It should be a “red-letter” week in the task of settling into our home.
As I was rejoicing over the ending work of staining, an old favority hymn came to mind:
In the old rugged cross,
Stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For 'twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
Yes, “The Old Rugged Cross”, and the words that came to mind are in the second and third line. “Stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see.” As I thought of the three days of aching labor I put in, I recall the Saviour’s suffering at the hands of those who physically abused and beat Him, causing blood to flow even before He was lifted up on the cross.
Then finally, the blood flowing from His head, back and wounds, from the crown of thorns to the “cat of nine tails” whip that cut Him, stained the “old rugged cross”. In this way He, through His death, applied a stain to my knotted and sin-grained life wood, redeemed me for a high purpose. Then through His death and resurrection, a new finish was applied to bring out His infused nature with a gloss truly glorious. Matthew 27:24-30 "Then released he (Pilate) Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified...The the soldiers...took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him...And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head...and led him away to crucify him."
Most of the books that will grace my new shelves are about Christ and how He has come to bring to life those still just “dead wood” without stain or finish to make of them beauty. I pray that the “shelves” of my life might be filled with His Words and words of Him, too.
My friend, do you have a job that has caused you some aches and pains? Remember Him Who’s pain and stain can make you shine! Be encouraged today!