Bent nails in the workshop

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1)

As parents, we know we are being 'watched' by our children all of the time. We can try that "do as I say, not as I do" thing, but we all know how well that one works! Kids see things and then they 'imitate' them. I remember my dad making things in the shop. He'd hand me a hammer and have me straighten bent nails. I wasn't doing the same thing as dad, but I was right there learning how to hold a hammer and aim at something with it. While some may not think this is a significant lesson, I will assure you I scored higher in my 'mechanic' section of my Army placement exam than any other section! All that 'learning at his feet' must have done me some good. God asks for us to learn from him - to see what he does and do it. We are to constantly be observing how he reveals his love and then learn to love in similar manner. We learn 'proper behavior' best when it is modeled. 

I think some of us expect that learning to love others as God loves others will come easy but let me assure you that unconditional love is far from easy. The more we 'keep company' with God, the more likely we are to learn tidbits here and there that will help us become more loving, forgiving, considerate, kind, and generous. These are the traits he consistently models for us, so sit at his feet long enough and we are sure to get some of these traits worked into our lives, too. I think we all love with a bit of caution, don't you? We don't easily just put it all out there on the line for just anyone who comes along. In fact, we are probably a bit guarded in most relationships - at least until we develop some consistency within them. The more we 'keep company' with each other, the easier it is to begin to extend ourselves to each other, isn't it?

The thing God wants us to know is that when we sit at his feet, it isn't wasted time. Just as when I was making bent nails straight in dad's workshop, we are learning to handle the instruments of God's grace, love, and peace when we sit in his 'workshop'. We may not think we are learning much but sit there and absorb what you can. The day will come when you find the things you learned while 'sitting at his feet' weren't just 'nice lessons'. They are life-giving expressions of his love put into action in the lives of all that you touch. Just sayin!

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