When I was a kid, I received a rock tumbler as a gift. I was so excited to put a handful of dull, rough stones into the barrel drum for the ride of their lifetime. The directions told me that within one to two weeks the rocks would look quite different. They would be changed. They would be dazzling as their inner beauty would be revealed through the process of tumbling with water and grit.
It’s probably been about 40 years since I tumbled my little rocks, but I recently received a beautiful glass vase filled with unique rocks that had spent a substantial amount of time in a rock tumbler, and seeing the stones displayed in the vase made me think of something.
Life is a little bit like a rock tumbler. We have all walked through difficult circumstances, struggled through trials we would not have chosen, and encountered people who rubbed us the wrong way or wounded us with abrasive words or actions. These things have undoubtedly changed us.
By the grace of God, I am not the same person I used to be. I considered how life’s circumstances, which surely could have made me angry, bitter, and resentful, allowed me to emerge into the person I am today when I surrendered to the process. I pray I have become more like Jesus, the Rock in whom I take refuge.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)
And just like those rocks in the tumbler are not alone, we’re all in this thing called “life” together. We can learn from each other, refine each other, and help each other to shine for the glory of God. Some of us may be like granite, strong and resilient, and others of us may be more like sandstone or shale, still tough, but weathered and fragile. And that’s okay. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can fully trust in the foundation we share, Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. He has chosen us individually and collectively to be His dwelling place!
…you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Take refuge in the One who gives grace upon grace as you journey through the grit of this life. He is faithful to transform us for His glory!