There are times when I get discouraged, thinking I should be farther ahead in my Christian life than I am. Sometimes I become frustrated because I need to be patient and hold my tongue, yet I say things I wish I never would have said. However, my new hobby has reminded me that I am a work in progress and sometimes that progress takes a while.
I have always wanted a rock polisher and recently a friend of mine bought me one for my birthday. I like how polished rocks feel in my hand and enjoy admiring their beauty, but I had no idea that polishing a rock took so long! To start the process, you need to find the right rocks. You want rocks that have color and character, two things that make them worth looking at. Then you need to make sure these rocks are the right size. They can’t be too big, or too small. If they are too big, the abrasive won’t work, but if they are too small, they just disintegrate. After selecting the rocks that are the right color, character, and size, you put them in the tumbler, add the coarse abrasive and water, and let the rocks tumble against one another for seven to ten days. When this process is over, you wash the rocks, put them back in the tumbler with a medium grip abrasive and let them tumble for another week. After the second tumble is over, you rinse them, add a fine abrasive grit, and tumble them for another week or so. When the rocks feel smooth you rinse them, add polish to the tumbler, and let them roll for another week. Finally you rinse them yet again and tumble them with soap for a day. By the time this whole process was over, it had taken me five weeks to polish a handful of rocks!
God is in the polishing business. When we become Christians, we are rough around the edges and live unpolished lives. Our language might be a little colorful, our choice of clothing a little provocative, and our hearts may need a little correction. But over time God patiently works in our lives, through people and circumstances, smoothing out the rough spots because He sees the gem inside. The biblical word for this is “sanctification” and it implies submitting to God’s will, and in the process, becoming more holy. Sometimes this process can be painful, but the end result is worth it. When we allow God to sanctify us, God will smooth out the rough edges and we emerge polished, beautiful and more like Him.
If you feel like your spiritual life isn’t where it should be right now, be patient. Trust that God will continue to smooth out your rough spots and take off your sharp edges making you even more beautiful inside than you already are. Stay strong and press on. God isn’t finished with you yet.