March 27th, 2018
When I was just a wee lad, my younger brother got a rock polisher for Christmas. His interest in rocks came about because of a Lutheran pastor in our neighborhood in St. Croix Falls, WI. He would take Jim on hikes along gravel roads to look for agates, quartz, and other interesting minerals. Thus, Dad and Mom’s gift was this electric powered tumbler to which you would add your rocks, water and grit.
It was very interesting to see how a very ordinary stone could be transformed into something quite beautiful. The tumbling water, grit, and rock against rock agitation for several days would smooth, polish and bring the inner quality of the stone to the surface which before was hidden by the rough coarse exterior of the specimen.
This transformation from ordinary dull rock to a polished gem fit for a ring or necklace required the key ingredient of grit. Without the abrasive quality of the grit working within the water solution the rocks, just remain rocks.
I think people are a lot like rocks. There is a potential beauty in mankind simply because he is created in the image of God. But because of our fallen sinful nature, that image has become ugly, dirty and coarse. Like rocks, we need a good washing. Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done (A rock cannot transform itself.), but according to his mercy he saved us, (He picked us out of the rock pile.), by the washing of regeneration, (God’s rock polisher uses blood, not water.), and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Once we are washed and saved, to become the gems the Master wants us to become, there is the long process of polishing which will take the rest of our lives. What does He use for grit? “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). The circumstance of life is the tumbler God’s blood-bought children are being agitated in as we bump against each other and the Word of God that is continually working to remove the old adamic nature and reveal the beauty of Christ in us. This process of polishing is called sanctification (setting apart). It continues not for a day or two, but for the rest of our lives.
Grit brings friction and heat against the objects it is applied to. Heat can be painful. Becoming all we can be for the Master rock polisher is not always a happy, easy, or painless experience. But when you and I consider the eternal price Jesus paid for us on the cross, our temporary polishing is quite small in comparison. Ultimately, with God’s help, we will become His finished piece fit to bring glory to a wonderful God who redeemed us from a pile of dirty rocks to make us gems prepared for eternity.
May God help us stay close to Him as we go through each day in the tumbler of life, for we can be confident of this very thing… “that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).
Your Fellow Rock, (a work in progress),
Pastor John Schofield