Been considering in the last few days how God shapes us. This was in part due to some recent teaching I was asked to do in our local church, but also in a great conversation I had this last week. God can shape us as clay is formed in a potter’s hand. Such shaping involves malleability of the clay, taking a very soft, yielding material and using skill to handle and form it into something aesthetically beautiful or useful – sometimes both. We often ascribe human-like feelings to clay when we describe ourselves as being shaped by God – as if clay can have feelings. In reality a potter does not usually consider how the lump of clay in their hands actually feels. Yet when God shapes us, we may not feel very safe, or understand what the design in His mind will actually look like once finished.
However, there is a different kind of shaping, and this comes about through faceting. When a stone is discovered that contains a gemstone, it can look extremely unpromising “in the rough”. Only an expert gemologist would recognize the jewel inside the rock. It then takes an expert gemcutter to cut away sections of the gemstone – the creation of facets – to reveal the hidden depths of its beauty. What if the gem had feelings? Would it scream when it was deliberately and specifically cut, repeatedly? Some of the experiences we go through in life are not “soft”, like clay. They are hard, and have the ability to cut deeply. We may wish to be anywhere other than on the gemcutter’s bench, and if possible, would place ourselves s as far away as possible from the gemcutter.
But what if we could catch a glimpse of the finished gem? We would then realise that each and every facet has had a purpose. That purpose is to reflect light , light that comes from outside of itself and is multiplied many times as it bounces within the precious stone, magnifying over and over the light shone into it. God can place his own light within us, and through faceting, it can be multiplied to reveal His glory. God then also uses the skill of a jeweller to expertly place the finished jewel in a setting of his design, to enhance this even further.
Have you felt deeply cut by circumstances?
Have you rebelled against such hardships?
Consider that God trusts you enough to create incredible facets that will reveal His glory, much more so than if He had left you “in the rough”.
What is He shaping you for, and where will you be placed?