Van Yandell

1 Corinthians 3:11 “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Occasionally I think of the many kinds of work I’ve done in this life. Of those (and there are so many, I’d never try to name them), I consider the most noble and honorable to be that of a carpenter.

The number one reason for holding in such high regard, the occupation of a carpenter, is because my Jesus was a carpenter. In His day and time, that occupation was not thought so highly of. Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” The statement made as is, indicates the person may have held carpenters in very low regard since verse fifty-seven states “And they took offense at Him.”

Jesus built so much more than in His carpentry work. He built an eternal Kingdom. His disciples continued after His ascension to build His church. That church today consists of over two and one half billion people.

To engage in the occupation of carpentry is incredibly fulfilling. It is so, simply because one can turn and look at the end of every day and actually observe the progress made on that day. I especially enjoyed framing carpentry for that reason. To walk off a job site at five in the afternoon and see walls standing or trusses set, that were not there just a few hours ago, gives one a satisfaction that cannot be matched in many occupations.

I was talking to a carpenter friend this evening and we discussed that special feeling that can really be described as emotional. To stand and gaze on a completed house, which is really a home, build in part by my hand is an emotional experience.

A family will live in that house for many years to come. Their trials and tribulations, I’ll never know. Their happiness and joy, I’ll never know. But what I do know is, those experiences for them will be special to them and that makes them special to me.

Working with wood is unique in its own right. No two floor joists or rafters are exactly alike just like no two people are alike. Jesus knew everyone is different. We think and react differently just as much as we look differently.

We all have different gifts and abilities, Romans 12:6-8. The scripture recognizes how different we really are just as the two pieces of wood are different. The carpenter must consider every piece of a house individually. We look for such things as bows, crowns, knots, splits and in general, the configuration of the grain of the wood.

In doing the Lord’s work, we are working with people and they are all different and must be regarded as such. In this, the work remains a challenge and, very interesting. People are not perfect any more that the wood is perfect. Both, however, can be a challenge, but not impossible.

I was sitting in a friend’s house recently and we were discussing the antiques and other interesting furniture in the house. His wife said she had never purchased a new piece of wood furniture. Observing the antiques, I was quickly convinced.

The friend said to me, “You built that mantle.” I had no memory whatsoever of ever building anything for him and surely not a walnut mantle to be placed over his fireplace.

The carpenter friend I talked with earlier this evening said I built the mantle over his fireplace. There is no memory of that either. How many pieces of furniture have I made and other items such as the mantles, in the last fifty plus years and have long forgotten?

Another acquaintance recently told me I laid the foundation (concrete blocks) for his house. I have no memory of that. I should point out here, my memory is not all that bad, there has just been so much over the years, there is no way anyone could ever remember it all. If any carpenter, welder or one engaged in any building trade reads this, you’ll understand. Others may not.

No truck driver will remember every route or trip. No electrician will remember every circuit and no plumber every pipe and fixture.

In a recent article, I asked the question, “What can you do on this earth, in your life that will last forever?” For those that study and believe the Bible, there is only one answer to that question.

When you lead someone to the Lord Jesus, that action will have an eternal consequence. I love the verse in “Amazing Grace,” “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’ve first begun.”

How long is eternity? If your lifetime is the thickness of a sheet of paper, how wide is eternity? The universe is not large enough to compare.

I’ve laid concrete block, poured and finished many cubic yards of concrete that will remain long after I’m dead and gone. A time will come when they’re all just dust floating around in the universe. That person you or I lead to the Lord Jesus will live forever in fellowship with our Creator.

The emotion experienced from building is great to have but knowing where someone will spend eternity because of our words and influence is beyond human imagination.

The Great Carpenter Jesus has gone to build us a mansion. John 14: 1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

I may not remember all those projects I’ve built over the years, but some day, we’ll all know how great eternity with our Creator is. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be in Heaven, one-hundred million years from now and someone say to you, “I’m here because you told me?”

Eternity for all mankind is simple! Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected (Matthew 27: 35 and Matthew 28: 6). All He asks is that we believe (John 3: 16). Tell someone (Acts 1: 8).