Sunday, January 2, 2011
Reshaping Your Life: Lessons from a Glassblower
Your hands shaped me and molded me.
(Job 10:8a, NIV)
Glassblowing is a fascinating art. It’s awe-inspiring to watch a highly skilled craftsman create multi-colored swirls from the basic elements of sand and coloring agents to shape, for instance, a vase.
The process is fascinating: melted glass is gathered from a very hot furnace on the end of a long metal blowpipe. The glass itself is about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit and has a gooey consistency, like honey.
Highly trained glassblowers breathe air through the blowpipe to the center of the glass goo, twirling and shaping it into something unique and grand. Then he uses a variety of tools to shape the glass into its final form.
As the glass cools, it must be reheated or it will begin to stiffen. As it is reheated the glassblower can continually shape and reshape the object for a longer length of time until he achieves the desired result.
When the piece is finished, it’s placed in a kiln (an oven) for the cooling. This is a slow process, for if it is heated or frozen too quickly, it will crack.
Such aptitude and artistry reminds me of how our Creator, the Master Artist, is in the continual process of molding and remolding us. With mastery and unsurpassed ability, God lovingly shapes us to help us become all we are intended to be. He knows what He is doing and He excels at the craft.
You may feel like you’re in the hot furnace of trials and afflictions. Yet, it’s in those very times we become pliable in the hands of the expert. We become more beautiful and useful in the process.
We are His works of art. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in an art gallery but asks us to go out into the world and share the beauty and usefulness He has given us with others.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.