Consider God as the Master Artist…Master Sculptor. When he requests a block of marble to be cut from the quarry, he can see into that blank/flat/rough form the masterpiece has in mind to create. “Normal” people looking at the raw stone might not even realize its value as marble. We just see a block of raw, rough useless stone.
In the studio, the Master takes a large mallet and chisel and knocks large pieces of stone to the ground. Again, to the onlooker, it still doesn’t look like much. Nothing is recognizable. After a time, he takes a smaller mallet and smaller chisels to remove smaller bits of stone. Bit by bit a figure starts to emerge. A hand. An elbow. The bend of a knee. The Master exchanges his tools for an even finer set. The details start to become apparent. Fingers. Nostrils. Hair tendrils. The fold of a garment. The tools become smaller and smaller and then he reaches for some rough material to sand the stone to smoothness. He reaches finally for other materials to polish the stone. It’s complete. A masterpiece!
In a similar fashion, we’re being sculpted by God. At the start we can’t tell from our raw form what our purpose or design will be. Often we feel useless. But God has lovingly selected us to complete His good work in. He starts with chiseling away what seems to be large significant parts of our lives. It hurts a lot to have so much broken off or taken away. But it’s not needed. He continuously chisels the smaller pieces off. It still hurts, but wait, we’re starting to take shape and it’s kind of exciting to see how God might shape us. The pieces chipped off grow smaller and smaller…and then the sander is applied to smooth out our roughness. The most irritating sander. Like people or situations that really get under your skin or rub you the wrong way. By the end, it’s just some polishing and a few touch ups here and there. His good work will be complete. A masterpiece!
What’s also amazing is that each slab of stone usually has flaws in it. There might be a weak spot or a hole or a crack. But the Master Sculptor works with and despite those imperfections to create a masterpiece regardless! I believe this is God’s specialty, taking the broken and flawed and turning us into masterpieces. With different purposes for certain. But GOOD purposes every time. What’s hard is that *this* walking piece of stone doesn’t enjoy being under a chisel. And I squirm. I am challenged to be still, hear the Master’s voice and surrender to His vision for my life. Whether He breaks off large chunks and it really hurts, or whether He’s sanding me and I’m feeling irritated. I pray I will always choose to surrender to the work He is doing and allow grace, compassion, mercy and patience to form in my life. Smoothing the roughness away.