My dad’s woodworking shop is very special place. Growing up, I was exposed to numerous tools, plenty of wood and so many possibilities to dream and build! Often I would work on a project that would require the use a table saw or a jointer. These are two very dangerous tools with ominous blades protruding the machine surface and required pushing the material directly toward the blade with close proximity to my fingers. Needless to say, I was often reluctant. Yet time and again I remember hearing my dad say, “You don’t have to be afraid to use it, just respect what it can do.” Thanks to my dad and the wood shop, I gleaned many valuable lessons and skills that continue to guide me today.
As I consider this principle, I am reminded of the reverence that God expects from us. This is not an apprehensive fear that is meant to drive us away from Him, but rather a respectful fear that allows us as His prized creation to enjoy an appropriate relationship with our all-powerful Creator-God. This means our disposition, intentions and interactions with Him are to be sincere, reverent and under girded by a healthy fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 expresses this principle well…
“The Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools
despise wisdom and discipline.”
This idea of no fear, bad fear and good fear can apply to many aspects in life. To live with no fear may seem courageous at first, yet tested by time will prove to be a foolish and dangerous way to cut our lives short. To live with bad fear may keep us overly concerned about all that could go wrong and hinder us from trying new things and discovering our potential. On the other hand, good fear keeps us respectful of power and enables us to enjoy safe, appropriate and productive experiences whether in a wood shop, in life, or with God.
As you consider these thoughts, may you be inspired to approach God with an appropriate awe and respect that He deserves. As you keep this humble attitude of heart, may you find the wisdom you need to enjoy your fullest potential in the Master’s wood shop.
Psalm 111:10 NLT
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Luke 12:4-5 NLT
“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.
2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.