One of my earliest memories was sitting on my father's lap with his drawing board in front of me. He would take a blank sheet of paper and place it on the board. Then he would pick up a pencil and begin to sketch. I would gaze in wonder as an ordinary piece of paper was gradually transformed into a picture.
Alas, neither my brother nor I inherited my father's artistic talent. I was fascinated by it but despite my best efforts I failed miserably. My father would later console me by telling me that I drew my pictures using words. One was not better than the other, they were just different ways of expressing yourself.
My inability to do what my father did not diminish my joy in watching him at work. In fact, I believe it increased it. I was not content with merely receiving the finish product, however. I wanted to watch the creation process. I wanted to watch the transformation whether it be a piece of paper, a piece of leather, a block of wood, a lump of clay or whatever. I loved the process, not just the end product. I loved to watch my father at work.
My father died when I was only 16 years old and a number of years ago, while I was recalling how I loved to watch him work, I began to think about the work that our Heavenly Father does. We interested in the end product but what about the process?
I think that if we are only interested in the final product, we miss out on something important. While the person who goes to a gallery and purchases a work of art may admire it and love it, they do not appreciate it in the same way they would have if they would have watched the artist at work. There is something special about seeing an artist or craftsman at work.
With that in mind, I told God that I did not merely want to see the end product, I wanted to watch Him work. I knew that I could not possibly see everything but could He give me a glimpse now and then? I was not making this request because I needed to see God at work before I believed. I was making this request simply because I loved to watch my Father at work.
God understood my heart and He honored that request. Every now and then, I catch glimpses of God at work. I will see Him, chip away here and add something there. I will see a line drawn over there which seems to have no purpose until something else is added. I see that though the fire is hot, He is standing nearby, carefully monitoring the time as well as the temperature and therefore I have nothing to fear. Then there is the vessel that is pushed down and seemingly destroyed. It is okay for I see that His hands are still upon it and though it looks like it is destroyed it is not for it will rise up again, transformed by the Potter's hands.
Often we can get discouraged when we are in the middle of the process. We want to see the finished product but I challenge you to stop and watch the process.