Summary: Out of the weakness of human flesh, God brings some of His greatest blessings.
Faking the Grain
Hebrews 11:32-34 KJV And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
I. INTRODUCTION -- FAKING THE GRAIN
Wood craftsmen and finishers of fine furniture are not nearly as common to our times as they were 100 years ago. For that matter, they are not found as much today as they were around even 25 years ago.
Some of these men were literally artists when it came to taking an old piece of furniture and restoring the elegance and the power back to it’s original state. So gifted were a lot of these workers that they would be able to work wonders out of even the simplest of furniture.
In the New England regions, there is a type of wood known as the Tulip Poplar. It is sometimes referred to as Whitewood and occasionally it will be called simply “Tulip.” This wood has a very unique capability in that it can imitate other woods that are far more valuable.
Some dealers have mistakenly identified pieces of furniture as high-dollar cherry only to find out later that a very talented finisher had properly “faked the grain” as it once was referred to.
This Whitewood grain can be taken by a master craftsman and be turned into a wood that imitates a perfect Mahogany. It can ever serve as a very highly passable Birch, Walnut, Cedar, Hazel, and even a straight-grained Maple. When the grain is “faked” a lesser wood becomes far more valuable in appearance. Because of this change, much more can be served by this particular piece of wood.
In fact, the Whitewood has come to serve as drawer facings on dressers, doors on armours, and side panels on expensive buffets. The more skilled the finisher is then the greater that the grain is “faked.”
-When I discovered this practice among makers of hand-crafted furniture artisans, I immediately thought about what happens to a man whose life comes under the hands of the Master Craftsman, Jesus Christ.
-Something far less valuable is suddenly redeemed into a highly-prized saint of God.
II. WEAKNESS THAT BECOMES STRENGTH
-There are numerous examples in the Word of God where one will find that weakness can become strength when it is placed in the hands of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4 KJV  And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
2 Corinthians 3:5 KJV Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
-It is the paradox of Christ likeness to have our weak places become the point of incredible strength.
Another way that these skilled furniture masters work is to take some paste filler and fill in all of the pores and defects of the wood so that a smooth finish can be applied. This filler is then stained and covered over and it has caused many an expert to think that the wood was much more valuable than it was.
-I have known many, many people (just as you have) over the years whose lives were scarred by sin, filled with the defects of terrible choices and dented by the uncaring hands of the world. They have managed to find their way to an old-fashioned place of prayer and then God was able to change the situation and “fake the grain” making them into so much more than they were.