DIY – Old Testament Edition
We all have our own life lessons in our youth, things that shape us, and in one way or another, point us in the direction we will head. Some of these are directly spoken into us in the form of a lesson or correction. Yet others are gleaned from our surroundings, sometimes in ways we may not have recognized in our younger years.
I remember hearing stories about my dad as he was growing up. He was determined, ornery, smart, and worked hard to do the things he loved. Even from boyhood he would find ways to take apart machines and rebuild then. Tinkering, building, designing and fixing—these are the things he loved to do. And through time invested and a natural inclination, he became incredibly talented and knowledgeable in those areas.
I’ll never forget the words he spoke to me one day in passing, as I was in mid “freak out” about the direction of my life and my seemingly uninspired desires. He told me, “Olivia, figure out what you love to do and find a way to make a living doing that. It’s as complicated as you make it.” That’s so simple, right? But those words knocked me right out of my freak out.
I promise I’m taking this somewhere.
Not long ago I was reading through Exodus and happened upon chapter thirty-one. Up until this point God was laying out the details of the temple and all the requirements that went along with it. The altars, the garments, the layout—all of it was clarified in extra detail and nothing was to be adjusted or altered. When we reach Exodus 31, we begin to see Gods provision displayed in a sort of special way.
Exodus 31:1-6 reads:
1 “Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to 4 make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, 5 and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you”
I realize I just asked you to read a big chunk of verse, but I want you to capture the fact that God specifically called, filled, invested in, and anointed these men and their workers for a specific purpose. He filled them with His Spirit, wisdom, understanding, and a comprehensive knowledge of the creative world. It was all for the glory of this temple and the beauty and precision that would be a part of its legacy for thousands of years to come.
We read this and understand God did not call them to something He did not equip them to handle. He directed them down a path that would prepare them to handle the incredible task He would ask of them.
They would have learned the importance of precision, attention to detail, leadership, project management, conflict resolution, and encouragement. To endure this commission of perfection, we know these men probably had a deep respect for the Lord and a love for what they did—the creative process of starting with raw material and ending with something beautiful and worthwhile. They were able to see something from nothing. Without these basic skills, the magnitude of what the Lord asked of them probably would have been unthinkable.
A father and his life advice flew up in my mind as I read these verses. “Figure out what you love and find a way to make a living doing that.” Such a simple concept, but I wonder if Bezalel and Oholiab wrestled with their future like we do, or if they realized they had a gift and found a way to perfect and develop that gift.
I wonder if they ever felt like they didn’t belong because of their career choices.
I wonder if it bothered them that they weren’t “chosen” in the same field of work as Aaron and his sons.
I wonder if they had moments where they felt abused or unappreciated for their extensive efforts and the lack of appreciation that would follow.
All of us have something—whether you lean toward the arts, science, people skills, or mechanics. When you were created, you were designed with a specific set of skills and weaknesses. What you do with those will determine much of your future. Had Bezalel and Oholiab not taken any time to develop their God given anointing and talent, or if they had been hindered by the potential hardship that could have accompanied this call, they would have been another family of farmers that build great fences and clay pots.
Where you invest your time and your talent will determine where your reward comes from. Be brave and evaluate, “Lord, what was I created to do?” Then understand the Lord will equip you. I’m thankful for a dad who believes in doing what you were created to do, and I’m even more thankful for a God who created me with something in mind.
With Him, you will find a fulfillment incomparable to anything else.
Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Jason Huckaby is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.