When God Tinkers

The famous American automobile manufacturer, Henry Ford, one day hired an electrical genius, Charlie Steinmetz, to do some repair work at the plant on one of the huge electrical motors. Mr. Steinmetz looked things over, found the problem without much effort and fixed it—and then sent Mr. Ford a bill for $10,000.00! Upon receipt of the bill, Henry was flabbergasted by the amount and demanded an explanation of Charlie for “a little bit of tinkering.” Mr. Steinmetz’s response was a classic: “I’m charging $10.00 for ‘tinkering’ and $9,990.00 for knowing WHERE to tinker,” was his amusing response.

As Christians, we know that God’s ultimate goal is so have us conform to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son,” writes the Apostle in Romans 8:29. Unlike Charlie Steinmetz, who did his work in a relatively short period of time, God crawls down into the cesspools of our lives, removing those things that don’t honor Him—and that takes a lifetime! The songwriter Joel Hemphill picks up on thit thought:

He’s still working on me
To make me what I ought to be;
It took Him just a week
To make the moon and stars,
The Sun and the Earth and Jupiter and
How loving and patient He must be,
He’s still working on me!

Each of us has a past! To the young Christians at Rome (and to us), Paul writes: “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life!” As we become more and more like Christ, we discover our true selves—the persons we were created to be! Since God knows where to “tinker” in our lives, may His goal of having us conform to the image of His Son be our desire as well!

—Paul W. Brubaker
May/June, 2012