ArticlesPoetry Apr 12, 2018 Rules for Sanding Wood
Kearsten Hendershott Article by Kearsten Hendershott Author @,

Af­ter I grad­u­at­ed col­lege, I moved from my child­hood home to a place where I could count how many peo­ple I knew on one hand. I was Miss In­de­pen­dent. I moved into an apart­ment and start­ing scav­eng­ing the in­ter­net for deals on fur­ni­ture. I end­ed up with a an­tique dress­er set that was stur­dy, but it had a very ugly col­or. I de­cid­ed to take it upon my­self to sand it down and restain it. I mean how hard could that real­ly be? I got the sand­pa­per and went crazy on the dress­er. Af­ter, I ap­plied the stain and let the piece dry. I re­mem­ber look­ing at it and think­ing how much ugli­er it looked. The front of the draw­ers looked scratched and a to­tal­ly dif­fer­ent shade than what the sides of the dress­er were. I sent my mom mul­ti­ple “HELP ME!” texts.

Look­ing back, I had picked up the sand­pa­per with no knowl­edge of what I was do­ing. This past year I taught class­es on mak­ing wood signs. The im­por­tance of al­ways sand­ing with the grain of the wood was stressed. That’s when I learned that my method of go­ing crazy in every di­rec­tion had led to the demise of my dress­er. When sand­ing, it is im­por­tant to sand with the grain of the wood. If you sand against it, it will tear fibers of the wood and leave scratch­es. When you are sand­ing, you can’t see the scratch­es. Once the stain is ap­plied, the scratch­es be­come vis­i­ble.

We hear the world tell us all the time, “Go against the grain!”. A re­bel­lious, free-spir­it­ed men­tal­i­ty is en­cour­aged. De­ci­sions are ours to make. Au­thor­i­ty be­longs to us. Our bod­ies, our choic­es. Dye your hair. Pierce your body. Tat­too your skin. Drink the al­co­hol. Do the drugs. Be promis­cu­ous. Hate some­one who hurts you. Do what you feel. West­ern so­ci­ety shapes us to be non-con­formists. What are we not con­form­ing to, though? Ideals placed on us by our par­ents, friends, teach­ers, hus­band, wife? Sure, maybe su­per­fi­cial­ly. We have to dive much deep­er into the roots of our iden­ti­ty to find the cul­prits of our re­bel­lious hearts.

In Eden

Our lack of con­form­ing and go­ing against the grain dates back to the fall of man. God gave one com­mand to Adam and Eve Gen­e­sis 2:15-17. Adam and Eve took it upon them­selves to de­cide what was good and evil. Dis­obe­di­ence is in our blood. Go­ing against the grain is in our blood. What does go­ing against His grain bring us? The world tells us it will bring us hap­pi­ness and free­dom. But is that what it brought Adam and Eve? No! They were left in a state of shame, dis­com­fort, and suf­fer­ing Gen­e­sis 3:7, Gen­e­sis 3:14-19. They weren’t giv­en the knowl­edge of good and evil that the ser­pent promised. They were in­tro­duced into know­ing and do­ing evil by go­ing against the good grain that God had built into them.

We hold the sand­pa­per in our hands. Are you go­ing to go with or against the grain? Go­ing with the grain pro­duces a smooth, beau­ti­ful prod­uct. We must seek God’s will for our lives in or­der for us to know how to make de­ci­sions and sand down our wood. He must guide our hands. We have to seek Him in every op­por­tu­ni­ty, every chance we get. We must pray. We must sur­round our­selves with com­mu­ni­ty that will point out scratch­es in our wood or help us when we are un­sure how to con­tin­ue shap­ing our­selves.

Rules for Sand­ing Wood

Isa­iah 61 vers­es 1 and 2 states, “Heav­en is my throne, and the earth is my foot­stool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, de­clares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is hum­ble and con­trite in spir­it and trem­bles at my word.” We all have the pow­er to build a house out of wood. But as He­brews 3:4 says, God has cre­at­ed every­thing. So what house will you build to catch His Eye? It doesn’t mat­ter what our hous­es look like. God is not con­cerned with how many bed­rooms we build. God only cares about the shape and pos­ture of our be­ings. Through the sand­ing and shap­ing of our hous­es we must:

  • Be hum­ble. We have to rec­og­nize that we do not have the an­swers - God does. The de­f­i­n­i­tion of hum­ble is a mod­est or low view of one’s own im­por­tance. We must de­crease, He must in­crease in every as­pect of our lives.

  • Be con­trite in spir­it. Con­trite comes from the Latin word “con­terere” which means to grind down, to wear away. We have to present our­selves to God and al­low Him to sand away any­thing that is not of Him! John 15:2 We must be will­ing to go with the grain of His Word, His lead­er­ship, and His con­vic­tions! We have to look to Je­sus Christ as the per­fect mod­el to shape our hous­es af­ter.

  • Trem­ble at God’s word. How much weight and val­ue do you place on God’s word? Is it shap­ing your life, or are you tak­ing it light­ly? Trem­bling at God’s Word shows your fear and rev­er­ence for His blue­prints and will for your life. Look at your life and what you val­ue, and that will re­veal what makes you trem­ble.

Our wood­work­ing may not al­ways turn out how we ex­pect­ed or what we would have made for our­selves. We have to have faith that the process of go­ing with the grain of God’s Will makes us beau­ti­ful ac­cord­ing to His stan­dard. We have to trust that go­ing against Him and with the world will cre­ate some­thing scratched and ugly, like the dress­er I threw away.

“Knowledge is any relationship we experience through our relationship with Jesus Christ.”

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