Since wood wasn’t plentiful in ancient Israel, it’s unlikely that Jesus was a carpenter in the true sense of the word, even though that’s what’s traditionally been taught. Because most structures in the Roman world were hewn from stone, there’s a high probability that He was actually a stonemason. I find this interesting, especially in light of the fact that the Lord chose His own profession. Since He is sovereign over all circumstances, He picked exactly how He would arrive in the world, where He would be born, and what He would do as a trade. It speaks clearly to His nature that He decided to foreshadow physically what He does spiritually — chip away at hard and unformed rock to create something beautiful and glorious. In fact, that’s how He works in human hearts every day. When He takes up residence in our souls, the Holy Spirit begins unearthing and whittling away at what is weighty, unnecessary, and damaging. Though it can be a long and painful process, that which is formed in us as a result is characterized by a rare beauty that shows forth God’s image within. His signature is all over the lives of those He loves, and His masterful artistry is displayed as He refines and perfects everyone who calls Him Lord.
My friend, as you approach the end of this trying year, take joy in knowing that Jesus has been sculpting your destiny in every difficulty, challenge, and pain you’ve endured. Though at times you felt like you would cave under the pressure, His Hand held you fast, even as He chiseled from your life those things that were weighing you down. While His work is not finished, you can delight in knowing that you are stronger and more loving than you were at the start, and that even in the midst of a pandemic, your Savior has been transforming your heart. Receive His goodness by faith, and trust that He is creating in you a glorious reflection of His eternal hope — the kind that the world needs now more than ever.