My architect husband recently asked me to meet him at a stone yard to help select a piece of marble for a home he is working on. As we walked through row after row of the huge slabs of rock, all equally magnificent pieces, I could not get over the variety of beauty that had been created deep within the dark recesses of the earth. There it was--all laid out in the light of day --all on display for the world to see and admire. Things that had been made in secret were now visible before my very eyes. Things that had to be mined at great expense but had been made so easily and effortlessly by our loving, beautiful and creative God were being showcased and sold at a very high price.
"How," I thought, "did God come up with such variety, patterns, and color?" Some, so subtle and soft, others so strikingly bold. One looked like compressed butterfly wings that glistened opalescent in the bright light of the sun. Another looked like feathers frozen in stone. I was overcome with awe at such a flamboyant display of His handiwork. And then I began to contemplate--how much more is in the earth, beauty that we will never see, as it is so deep with in the heart of terra firma, things made just for His own pleasure and glory?
I so needed this outing, this day of experiencing beauty, wonder and delight at the artistic Hand of my Maker. I felt so loved as if He Himself were saying,"See, I can do things you cannot even dream of!" I felt as if He had made each one of those huge masterpieces just for me to view that day.
You see, my daughter had recently suffered a traumatic accident. She had broken her neck while on a trip to visit a friend. She went surfing and things went bad-- fast. She was thrown over the top of a nine-foot wave, pole-driven, head-first into a shallow sand bar and held under for quite some time. Thanks be to God, she was not paralyzed but the aftermath felt like we were in a blazing furnace of trials, being hard-pressed on every side.
As I looked at these beautiful paintings made of stone, I heard in my inner spirit the Lord say, "This is what I am doing in your soul." "What?" I said. Then I realized...heat and pressure--that is how He created these. I then started to laugh. Yes! Heat and pressure!
If only we could crack each other's souls open to see what God is creating deep within the dark recesses of each one of us! The magnificent stone slabs, marbled with gold and silver and precious jewels all wrought by His hand of love. And how? Heat and pressure, just like in the natural world. But oh, what a weight of glory they bring to Him when we allow His perfect will to be done in and through them.
"For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
Thank You that each day of my life. All that I encounter, every minute, is of no surprise to You. Thank You that no matter what it is, You are allowing it to mold me, to make me into a more beautiful image of Yourself if I will only cooperate. Please give me the grace to endure the heat and the pressure of this world, of things I don't always understand, but have faith that You have purpose in them. And when this temporary, fleeting life is over, may it be found to have produce in me, by Your grace, an eternal weight of glory...for You.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.