When Life Splinters
If the castles you built for your life (thinking they were solid and would last your lifetime) have fallen at your feet in splinters, don’t be dismayed. Satan will surely be on the scene of the wreckage ready with words of discouragement hoping to convince you to give up. God takes splinters of our construction and builds structures that we could have only imagined in fantasy.
Sometimes we use up our space with our own dreams and accomplishments and leave no room for God’s creative hand in our lives. He is the Master Builder and can either take our splinters or discard them and use all new material to produce His will for our future. We are just so fearful to hand even our messes to Him; we try to clean it up ourselves and usually end up with a worse situation that we cannot remedy.
Don’t consider the splinters!
“And being not weak in faith, he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb” (Romans 4:19).
Sarah was barren; she and Abraham both grew old after the promise of a son without seeing its fulfillment. Practical thinking would have written off the promise as impossible, just splinters; but God had already made Abraham a promise, and Abraham was “fully persuaded” that God was able to perform whatever He had promised. Just look what God did with Abraham’s splinters! His creative powers opened the dead womb of Sarah, and He created a nation from the fulfilled promise of a son. A nation that still exists today that began with the elderly Abraham and Sarah.
Elkanah’s wife, Hannah, was barren also. Elkanah loved her and tried to make up for her grief of not being able to give him a son.
“Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? And why eatest thou not? And why is thy heart grieved? Am not I better to thee than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8).
Hannah refused to be comforted. All she could see were the splinters of her dream to have a son, but she didn’t give up. When the family made their yearly pilgrimage to the temple, she spent her time weeping and praying for the son her heart desired. She told God that she would give the son back to Him if He would hear her petition and grant her request for a son. Eli the Priest was not in touch with God sufficiently to know that the tears she shed were from her broken heart and accused her of being inebriated.
She poured her heart out to Eli after explaining she was not drunk but was petitioning God with her whole heart. When he realized that she was not drunk but grieved, he told her that God would grant her petition. Immediately she was relieved and her heart glad. She lost sight of the splinters and saw in faith the son she longed for. The son she was promised was born to her and Elkanah, and she named him Samuel. Yes, the same Samuel who ministered before the Lord as a child and became a prophet and leader of Israel, anointing their first king, Saul, at God’s direction. She didn't consider the splinters!
So many other folks in the Bible had lives that were built on the “blessed” splinters that they released to God after their lives were shattered or circumstances seemed impossibly adverse. For example, the nine-foot tall Philistine Goliath had splintered the confidence of Israel standing on the opposite mountain challenging and belittling them. The giant was so sure that he was an undefeated champion that he had convinced God’s people that they really were inferior to him, and their power to overcome his threats lay in splinters--that is until young David came along and accepted the challenge of Goliath. With a sling and a small smooth stone, in the name of the Lord, the splinters were gathered and built into a fortress of restored faith in God. With renewed confidence in their God, Israel routed the Philistines after David's stone found its way to the giant's forehead and with Goliath's own sword David took off his head..
Remember Joseph? His jealous brothers sold him into slavery and he ended up in Egypt. While in Egypt, he was imprisoned on false charges and forgotten by fellow-prisoners whom he had befriended. Talk about splinters! His life was filled with them. Separated from the father who loved him and his freedom seemingly forever gone, Joseph's splinters made a huge pile at his feet. But Joseph never forgot his God, and his God didn’t overlook him. After interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and saving Egypt from a devastating famine, he rose to second in command of all of Egypt. He was able to turn the splinters into the preservation of his whole family from starvation; yes, even the brothers who were responsible for sending him to Egypt.