“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
Once upon a time, there was a sculptor working on a statue. The maid came in one day and asked what he was doing. The sculptor said, “I’m sculpting a statue of Abraham Lincoln.”
After many months of patient, tedious labor, the statue was completed. When the maid came in, she was amazed. She exclaimed, “That’s beautiful. But how did you know Mr. Lincoln was in that old rock?”
Come to think of it, we’re not much better than an old rock before Jesus comes into our lives.
Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
We all are dead as rocks until God “makes us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:5)
In the beginning, God made us in His own image. But the news gets even more exciting.
Colossians 1:27 says God has made known to us a great mystery ... “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
When you and I trusted Christ as Lord of our lives, Christ came to live in us. At that moment, The Great Sculptor began to chisel away that old crusty hardness from our lives until the Jesus inside began to shine forth.
How do you and I know Jesus is inside these hunks of rock we call earthsuits?
The Bible tells us so. He’s in there, but God has to chisel off our rough edges in order for Jesus to come shining through. We are all simply crude rocks in the hand of The Great Sculptor. Every day He works patiently, chipping away here, sanding there.
Sometimes He uses the chisel of adversity to chip off big chunks of rock. Sometimes He uses a kind word from a saint or a hug from a child, or a smile from a loving friend to polish an area that’s beginning to shine. Sometimes he uses irritations called “heavenly sandpaper” to smooth our prickly rough spots so Jesus is freer to live His life through us without our hindrance.
What’s the point of all this? Simply, we are all under construction. All of us have sharp corners that need sanding down, hard places that need smoothing. Be tolerant, be kind to one other, love one another. Realize the only thing we have in common is we all need life – Jesus’ life. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35)
Just trust and rely on Him minute by minute and you will find yourself loving people who you never dreamed of loving.
Fear often overcomes our trust and we try to control our life rather than allowing Jesus to do so. It’s comes with the territory because we live in a fallen world. It is a process learning that Jesus can be trusted and our wisdom cannot. Therefore, don’t expect yourself or others to be perfect as long as there is chiseling to do.
He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. How patient and loving He must be. He’s still working on me.
Aren’t you glad He won’t quit until we are the spitting image of Jesus?
Keep sanding, Lord. I think things are finally beginning to smooth out for me.
Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey in Lake Wylie.