Saturday, February 20, 2021

 Hold On!


For as far back as I can remember I have had a passion and a love for working with wood.  I remember one summer, where my untalented 8 year old self, suddenly became passionate about wood carving.  I begged my father for an opportunity to use his Husqvarna chain saw to explore chainsaw carving.  To his credit…he did not allow this.  Yet, I can’t help but wonder how having developed chainsaw skills at age 8 may have altered my future.  After extensive begging, he did allow me to use some of his wood chisels to transform a rotting box elder into my own interpretation of Michelangelo’s David…in my version, however, I thought I would keep David looking a lot like a box elder log.  I went into the nearby woods and drug out the old rotting log…and hauled it into his garage.  I propped it up on some jack stands and began to get to work.  Six and a half minutes later…and two small eye holes evidencing my efforts…I abandoned my project.  I set the chisels on the floor with the log still in his garage, figuring he could clean it up later and went inside the house to watch the Andy Griffith Show. 

On another occasion, I adjured my patriarch for permission to use some of his white oak boards to build a toy box for my bedroom.

“No,” he numbly responded.

“But, Dad…It will really help me keep my room clean!” I angled.

“You wouldn’t even be able to pound a nail through the oak.” He reasoned.

“Oh, ok..,” I sadly sighed.

I was not yet ready to let it drop. I figured that if I could show him my amazing hammering skills…he wouldn’t have any choice but concede to my building plan. 

I entered the garage and climbed up on the wooden bench near the wall.  By standing on the edge of the bench and stretching over…I could just reach the white oak boards that extended across the rafters.  I grunted as I struggled to free the bottom board…as my short arms could not reach the loose top boards.  My older brother stood on the ground and watched. “Whatcha doin’?” he implored.

“I’mmm…gettttinggg…a…brrrd…doowwn…frrr…a prrro…”

I didn’t finish my well crafted sentence as the board came down from the rafters...and I began falling from the precarious height.  My un-grown fingers clasped at the edge of the rafter…and I hung there.

“AHHH!!!” my brother exclaimed! “Hold On!!!” 

My brother grabbed a ladder and wrestled to get it up next to me.  Whether…purposely…or incidentally…my older brother let me down…though not with the ladder.  Due to his delay…I could hold on no longer and I came crashing down.  To his credit…he opted to break my fall by allowing his body to be crushed for the sake of mine.  Had he not taken the hit…I may have been injured or even suffered a bruise on the hard concrete floor.

His last words, (before ouch) were, “HOLD ON!” Sometimes…it seems so difficult just to “hold on.” In Revelation 2:18-29, we find a challenging picture of a church who is struggling to do what is right.  They are being deceived by Satan through a woman nicknamed, Jezebel…a reference to the Old Testament adulterous influencer to Israel.  Jesus, challenges this church…he knows what is going on…he knows her deception…he will deal with her…but for those who are still following Him…he says, “HOLD ON!!!”

Some days…it feels that all I can do…is hold on.  May we…with the strength of the Holy Spirit…learn to hold on, and trust Jesus to do what only He can do!


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