We have all seen the Norman Rockwell painting of the Thanksgiving turkey. The picture itself almost makes you hungry! Its beautiful colour dominates the painting. But that is just a snapshot in time in the life of that turkey, and it is at its most useless point at that moment. If we could look at the painting a few minutes later, we would see Father with a large carving knife. He would remove the legs and then the wings and then a large section of each breast. These would feed the family for that meal.

When we look at the carcass on the way back to the kitchen, it is hardly attractive! It looks useless and dead. Bones everywhere, the meat torn and shredded, the stuffing gone-there is no beauty left in it. Its life is far from over, though. It will feed that family for many days yet to come. Its usefulness has only just begun! First there will be cold sandwiches from the meat on the platter. In a day or two the meat will be removed the rest of the way from the bones and there will be several dinners, everything from turkey croquettes to a pot pie.

But the life of the turkey is not over even yet. The bones will be boiled with celery and carrots and onions to make a wonderful broth for good vegetable soup. Still its usefulness continues. After the bones have been removed from the stock, they are ground up fine and spread around the base of the flower bed. Next year's blooms will owe their existence, in part, to this once beautiful turkey.

It's not over 'til it's over! And some of the most wonderful blessings can come after all the beauty has been stripped away-this is true of turkeys, people and even churches. In the right hands nothing is wasted. We are in the right hands because our Father is wielding the carving knife, and though we may miss the once cohesive and beautiful body we were, still God is not done with us.

Whether we become sandwiched into other denominations or become part of a whole new creation, like the croquettes or pot pie or the soup; or whether we encourage new growth that we are not even aware of, God will use us as He sees fit and frugally and wisely, to His great honor.

Jesus said, ``I will never leave you nor forsake you!'', and He hasn't. Looking at the Norman Rockwell turkey, we cannot see next year's roses, but our Father can. Let us rejoice in His care and be faith-filled and faithful! Because, to quote a famous bumper sticker, ``God ain't done with us yet!''


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On 11 Nov 2000, 14:39.