A Wobbly Table

Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. Philippians 3:12


One of the joys of being a pastor is meeting with young couples before they marry.  They are so in love and eager for their futures.  My wife and I enjoy talking about the lessons we’ve learned in our own marriage hoping that it will help them as they begin their lives together. 

Over the last several months, I’ve had the joy of spending time with a couple from my youth ministry days.  (When my former students get married, I suppose that means I’m getting “older.”)  The groom had the idea of building a kitchen table for their apartment and asked if I would help him build it.  He wanted to learn how to use certain tools.  I was glad for the opportunity because I also enjoy building things. 

We worked on the project as they came to visit over the last several months.  We cut planks, planed them to a desired thickness, and then glued them together to form the tabletop.  We cut four tapered legs, and the skirt to assemble them.  We sanded everything and sanded it all again.  And then sanded it one more time. 

Finally, it came time to put the top onto the legs, and I noticed something.  The tabletop had warped a little due to the wood drying out.  Wood does that sometimes.  It’s somewhat unpredictable and imperfect.  We attached the legs and turned the table over onto its feet.  I slapped my hand to my forehead, sighed deeply, and then grunted in frustration.  The warped top left the table with a severe wobble.  We examined the problem and thought of several possible solutions.  What can we do to fix this? 

As we put the table into the back of their car, the groom had several ideas for fixing the tabletop.  His fiancé was thrilled by the looks of the table and wasn’t bothered by the imperfections at all.  Then I shared half-jokingly, half serious, “This table is a lot like marriage.  There will be many imperfections and mistakes along the way.  In fact, marriage is often wobbly.  But it certainly is beautiful.” 

The same can be said for our relationship with Jesus.  You see, none of us are perfect.  That’s easy to see.  Even when we’ve repented of our sins and been baptized before a crowd of friends, family, and neighbors our lives will go on with imperfections.  We will stumble into temptation, and at times cross the lines of right and wrong.  As Paul said in Philippians, we’re not perfect but we press on for the perfection Christ has called us to.  Jesus saves by His own grace, and we walk, or wobble, in His grace every day.  And when we fall, He graciously picks us up. 


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