I was away on a trip to Manitoulin Island with a friend. I love going to see people who have become so very important to me . . . but, I have a hard time leaving my wife, Lynn behind during those trips . . . and this trip was no different.

While I was gone, Lynn kept herself busy.  She went to work gathering pictures from past plays I had directed at Macomb Christian Schools, as well as pictures of my friends from the Island.

When I got back from my trip, she was excited as she showed me three big collages she made and framed while I was away.  They were filled with pictures and were to be hung in my office.  I picked up the collages one by one and looked over the individual pictures . . .  Smiling, I recalled the people and the events we shared together. I relived each photo as I stared.  Wow, what a treasure!

For seeral weeks, Lynn asked me to get the collages hung in my office.  I was busy, so it took some time, but the day came when I was able to get them hung.   As I picked up each frame to hang, I again smiled as I looked over all of the pictures.

The largest collage was the one filled with Wikwemikong pictures from Manitoulin Island.  The frame is about 3 feet wide.  As I stood over the frame, as I looked down, I could see that it was quite warped.  I mentioned how warped it was to Lynn and her response was, “It’s old . . . we found in one of your rental homes.”  Well, it was just right, and looked great with all of the pictures.  When I stood back and looked at the collage, it was perfect!

I don’t know, maybe I’ve been watching too many Pixar movies, but I could almost picture that old, warped frame, with its head hung low, thinking, “I have no value because of my condition.  Just let me shrink away  . . . My past has rendered me useless.”

The frame that was sitting, unused, in our basement, was approached by Lynn.  She was searching for something special . . . something to be used to help create a masterpiece . . . Many people would have tossed the old, warped frame out as soon as they picked it up and saw its condition . . . But in the hands of an artist, it became a thing of beauty . . . It was hung on a predominant wall . . . A display of work done by the artist.

In Luke 5, Peter was that old frame.  After a fruitless night of fishing, reluctantly Peter obeyed Jesus and put down his nets.  The “net” of that obedience was great catch!  It was then that Jesus, the master artist was revealed. The sentence that popped out as I read the account was:

"But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”" (Luke 5:8)

Peter, saw himself for what he was . . . warped and useless.  He knew his past rendered Him unfit . . . But in the hands of the Creator, Peter became “The Rock”.  The very one Jesus used to “frame” the church.

As I think through my life, I have fallen short . . .Boy have I fallen short. So much so that my “warped” frame no longer resembles a frame.  The truth is, I can’t do anything to change my past.  I can’t dwell on what I can’t change.  From this day forward, the job of this warped old frame is to yield to the Master.  He’s the one who is able to create a masterpiece out of my brokenness . . . for His glory!

Lord, use this old, warped, frame of mine. In Your hands I can be used.  Thank You for not giving up on me.

Luke 5:1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.

They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.  (biblegateway.com, ESV)

More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!

As I finished writing this, the Lord brought the song, “Beautiful Things” by Gungor to mind.  What a blessing! Take time to listen.