Carpentry is a very strange profession. A carpenter will take a tree and intentionally destroy its natural beauty. The carpenter will hack away at the trunk of the tree, removing its defensive layer through the use of axes, saws and chisels. In fact, if you did not understand what the carpenter was doing, you would think that this person simply delighted in doing violence to a piece of wood.

But it is through this violent action that the inner beauty of the wood is revealed. A master craftsman not only shapes the wood for a useful purpose, they also allows the true colour and grain of the wood to be seen.

At this point we need to ask the question, was it purely an accident that Jesus was a carpenter? Was it simply a random chance that the saviour of the world would take on this profession or was God trying to reveal something about how he works with his people?

The scriptures often describe the purifying work that God does through the image of refining Gold or cleaning dirty clothing. But maybe the best image is the image of a carpenter. It can often be hard to understand what God is doing in our lives, particularly when it seems that good things are being stripped away from us. We need to trust that as he cuts away all of our defensive layers, he will be revealing our true inner beauty.