Imagine a large, jagged boulder, falling from a high place on a mountain into tumbling rapids below. The boulder crashes into the icy abyss and is swept away by the strong currents. As the river moves, the rock rolls and sways with motion of the river, occasionally bumping into other rocks embedded in the walls. Between the pull of the river and trees and stones already entangled in the river’s bed, the rock gets stuck, unable to move itself. A few months go by and the rock is still stuck in the same place, but it looks a little different. The boulder has started to transform from jagged to smooth, from a large piece of rock to a smaller stone now free to release itself from the clutches of the other rocks and branches that held it down…
Imagine a sculptor working on his next piece. He’s planned it out thoughtfully, drawing up samples and calculating the specs to make sure his creation comes out just right. His materials delivered, he sits down on a bench and begins to chisel at the piece of rock before him, careful to only take away what’s necessary; not too much, not too little. As the hours draw on, he continues to hammer and sand, smoothing away uneven lines. He steps back, pleased at what he’s done so far. Knowing he still has far to go, he keeps the goal in mind and continues working…
Imagine a potter, working meticulously at the lump of clay sitting before her. She gathers her tools and settles in for the long night ahead of her. As the potter’s wheel spins, her hands go, following a rhythm only she knows, a tempo only she can produce. She continues to pinch and pull, shape and smooth. Her masterpiece takes form. For some parts she uses sharp tools to cut away at the unnecessary and undesirable parts of the clay. Finally satisfied with her work, she lets it set and harden. Then she takes it to the fire…
I bet we can all relate to being that rock stuck in a hard place, but how much of us actually are aware that we are God’s masterpiece that He is constantly working to mold, shape and refine? How many of us actually realize that our moments of brokenness bring the most growth?
Being a Christian doesn’t mean we’re protected from all of life’s circumstances. Sometimes when we’re high up on the mountaintop God allows us to be brought low and get caught up in the rapids of life. Just like the boulder, we started out as these messed up, jagged, hell-bent pieces of rock. Maybe were always good people, well-liked and innocent. Maybe we were bad, habitual liars and drunks, full of anger and contempt. Wherever we fell between those two extremes, we still needed to be rescued so God allowed us to fall.
We fell and got stuck, our sins (the jagged pieces) weighing us down, death eminent. The longer we were stuck, the smoother we became and the easier it was to break free.
The circumstances of life not only make us stronger, but rids us of the unnecessary and undesirable parts of our clay existence. Proverbs 3:11-12 assures us that the correction of the Lord is a good thing. If we want to grow, some discomfort or brokenness is necessary.
When a goldsmith wants purify gold, he melts it.
When a gardener grows crops, he prunes them.
When a Father corrects a child, he chastens.
God’s love is so amazing that He would take the time to carefully and thoughtfully break off parts of us that are dead, unattractive and sinful. He is the sculptor, the river, and the potter. He is the creator of the greatest masterpiece in the world, you.
He’s not done yet, no, there’s still work to do.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” -Proverbs 3: 11-12
Sit tight and let Him work.
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