Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Creativity in Captivity

Still reading through Exodus- yes, I know it has been a super duper long time, but I keep getting sidetracked and taking my sweet time.  Today found me in Exodus 37, where the story of the building of the tabernacle is continuing to be recounted.  Every detail and measurement is meticulously accounted for, and the author writes in such a way that you can also hear the sound of the hammer striking and feel the heat of the fire as it purifies the gold.  It really is an amazing lesson in details and beautiful story telling. 

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Bezalel, the man selected by God to be the foreman over one of the most important building projects in history.  This was a man who was the contractor of contractors, with skills ranging from carpentry, to metalworking, to upholstery and tile work.  This guy knew his stuff and was skilled enough to be able to oversee a team of equally talented individuals who were experts in their individual fields.  In verse 1, we see Bezalel working on the ark of the covenant and overlaying it with gold.  A few verses later in chapter 38, we see him working on curtains and creating what I can only imagine were some of the most beautiful the world has ever seen.  This guy seriously seemed to know any and everything about creating the perfect place for the Lord to dwell.  He really seemed to be the right person for the job and there was nothing he couldn't do for the task he had been given.  And then, in the midst of the stories about his skill a thought came to me...where did he learn all this?

Bezalel is a part of a group of refugees- recent nomads who have been displaced from a place and a culture that, though difficult to live in, was all they had known for the entirety of their lives, and the lives of their most readily memorable ancestors.  It would be easy for us to forget that Bezalel didn't get his unquestionable skill from a class or from kind and caring instructors.  No, Bezalel became excellent at his craft at the end of a spear, in the harsh and grueling sun, and with the stares of tyrannical "masters" boring into his back even as their whips dug into his skin.  Bezalel learned his craft while in captivity.

Far too often, I find myself bemoaning my fate when difficult circumstances arise.  I complain about how difficult things are, and regularly complain that I just can't seem to "break free" from whatever is keeping me from the next...something.  But what if my perspective changed?  As difficult as it might be, what if, instead of focusing on the captivity I found myself in, I focused on how God was going to be able to use the lessons learned and the skills developed in that captivity to establish a testimony for Himself that would outlast me and bring His name glory well after I'm gone?  What if, the "trying of our faith that creates patience" is simply so that I don't give up in the midst of turmoil so that God can be made known and people's lives changed when I'm not around to tell the story? Is there a victorious day coming for every circumstance I face?  Absolutely.  But, when I find myself facing that difficulty, and feeling like I am in captivity, it is helpful to remember that in trial I am taught, and when captive I am better able to see the creative work of the Lord in even the smallest of things.

Be encouraged- this season of captivity for you is but a season where God can prove Himself in you, so that you can later show Him to the world.

Pursue.  Original.

1 comment:

RoyTheBoy said...

I needed that today