“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. . .” Philippians 2: 14–16
My neighbor Marie invited me over to see her rock collection. She showed me the smooth, shiny rocks which, for days had been buffeted in her rock-polishing machine. They had been rough when they first went into the machine, but now the rocks were smooth with interesting designs and colors. Marie’s experienced eye could see the potential beauty of those rocks before she polished them.
Then she showed me some other, larger rocks that were dirty and rough. But when she split them with a hammer, many of them contained the most beautiful crystal formations. However, they had to be cleaned and treated to loosen the dirt that had gathered in the crevices. The removal of this silt and dirt allowed the beauty of the crystals to shine forth.
It’s difficult to find rocks that can be polished or that contain crystals and precious gems. One has to have experience and patience to spend hours and days looking for them, identifying them, and then cleaning and polishing them.
In a way, we can compare a rock hound to our Creator, Jesus Christ. He knows exactly what is inside of us. He sees the potential in each of us. In his book Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado writes, “Jesus loves you just the way you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way.” Jesus is patient with us and will keep “polishing” us until we shine like stars.
Sometimes we put walls about ourselves. Kind of like turtles, we withdraw into our shells whenever we think we might be in danger. We have been hurt, afraid, or just plain shy, or maybe we have a secret we don’t anyone to know. We are afraid to let some people get past the wall.
Jesus, patiently, with His unfailing love, tells us, “I have come for people to have life and have it until it overflows” (John 10:10). Sometimes when we choose not to believe Him, He will use people (who rub us the wrong way), painful circumstances, death, financial problems, sickness, sorrow, and disappointments to help us yield to His polishing — to take down the wall. When we trust Him and look to Him for strength, wisdom, and direction, He brings out the beauty in each one of us. “They looked to Him and were radiant. . . ”(Psalm 34:5, Amplified)
Lord Jesus, I am so glad You know everything about me and love me anyways. Thank You that You know best how to bring out our inner beauty. Help us to yield to Your “polishing” and trust You in everything. Amen.
1. Can you think of a person who has been refined into a “shining star” through difficult circumstances?
2. Can you think of a situation that God used to refine you?
3. How did you respond or react at first? Did you recognize God’s hand in what was happening to you? Have you learned to thank God.
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