Oh friends, for the last year I have felt like a caterpillar awaiting transformation. Knowing full-well that God had something more in store for my life – cocoons and wings, not simply milkweed. I have felt God working closely to shape and form me. To smooth out my rough edges, like an agate waiting in line to be polished.
In elementary school I loved rocks. I know most kids love rocks, but this obsession of mine was borderline silly. My family loved to camp. We spent most of our Summer weekends traveling the great state of Minnesota by RV. One of our most frequent destinations was the North Shore area of Lake Superior. The shores of Lake Superior are covered by rocks large and small. When you arrive at one of Lake Superior’s small pebbled beaches you will quickly notice that not many of the visitors are watching the waves crash around them, they are scanning the rocks on the beach. At first this might seem odd; however, once you take a step onto the beach, you understand and then begin to focus on the rocks beneath your feet, as well.
Lake Superior’s shores are littered with gorgeous rocks, some of which are agates. However, without the aid of polishing, the light has to be just right and the rocks wet enough to be able to see their true beauty. Especially the agates. I remember begging my parents for an amateur stone tumbler from a kid’s magazine. Fortunately, my parents encouraged my love of discovery and ordered the stone tumbler. I remember the anticipation of finding handfuls of rocks on the beach and bringing them back to the RV to find out how exceptionally beautiful they really were after using my stone tumbler.
I think that the Lord feels like that about us. He knows how truly beautiful we are even though we aren’t polished. He has intimate knowledge of our potential. He can see beneath the layers of dirt, ash and sin. Bad things will happen in our lives and it is our choice to decide if we will allow God to use these moments to polish away our rough patches to reveal a more beautiful version of ourselves or if we will let the tragedy pile on the ash and cover up our beauty.
Today what will you choose?
I’m not talking about monumental tragedy, although this concept does apply to the very dark times of our lives. No, what I’m referring to is the mundane, every day work that can either pull us farther from God or push us closer. Open up your Bible, pray with intention, seek intimacy with God and you will be blessed beyond measure.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting