The Promise of Plumb

by Joanna Pierce on June 20, 2018

My husband and I have been living in a state of remodel for the past 9 years. We’ve been through a lot together and learned quite a bit. I must admit I’ve had to learn much more in the home-improvement space than my spouse. For example, I learned one skill that’s an absolute essential in remodeling—patience.

When my husband spent what seemed like hours hanging the door to our bedroom, I about lost my mind. He kept playing with this measuring stick with bubbles in the middle and muttering about something being plumb. I told him to stop playing with his game, give me the hammer, and I’d hang the door. He could gripe about whatever fruit he wanted, but my patience reservoir was quickly depleting.

Okay folks—I knew what a level was, but the plumb thing really got me. It definitely wasn’t a term I heard outside orchard management and plant husbandry. Who knew when determining if something was plumb, you were making sure it was precisely straight or level. There are instruments (tools) called plumblines to help accomplish this pretty important goal. In the case of my door, if it wasn’t exactly plumb, it wasn’t going to close and latch properly.

I’m always amazed at the strange terminology in the carpentry world, but imagine my astonishment when I stumbled across the same word in Scripture:

And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more (Amos 7:8, KJV).

God has an exact measuring tool (a plumbline) He uses to measure His people. He has an exact measure of judgment, an exact measure of salvation, an exact measure of righteous living, and an exact measure of how we are to live every day of our lives. What’s His plumb line? His Word.

As we live from day-to-day, we don’t always like the work it takes to align ourselves with God’s Word. Like me, after hours of engagement and effort, we’re sometimes ready just to give into the easy way of the world. We’re ready to hang up the “doors” in our lives a little too quickly without taking time to make sure they’re plumb with God.

Sometimes living for God isn’t easy, but then again, God never said it would be. We’re told to carry our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). And, while there are many meanings here, carrying a cross depicts a life of work, depletion of strength, sweat, tears, and then some.

Truthfully, yes—sometimes living for God is going to be hard. But, it’s totally worth it.

Years later, I still stand in my doorway and admire the workmanship. I’m thankful I have a door, I can close it, and it looks beautiful. I wouldn’t have the door I do today if we (mostly my husband) hadn’t taken the time to invest work upfront to make sure it was plumb. If we align ourselves to the Word of God, He’ll not only bless us in this life, but there’s a blessing in the next life that can’t be compared to any hardship we face today (Romans 8:18).

Pray that God gives you patience to spend the time working out the kinks in your life to get as straight (plumb) as you can with Him. You have no idea how grateful you’ll be in eternity and the promises He has in store for you.