Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have You Felt God's Chisel?

The wise man declares, "The crucible is for silver, the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart" (Proverbs 17.3).

Have you been to Mount Rushmore? I have only seen it in pictures, but I am in awe of this monumental masterpiece. I am amazed at the craftsmanship of the sculptor, of his skill, and his patience as he carefully chiseled away useless rock to create an object of splendor.

I am amazed at the painter, the carpenter, the gem-cutter . . . the blacksmith. I am amazed at their ability to create an object of beauty and usefulness from something that is ordinary and common.

The crucible is for silver, the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

Transformation is a powerful word and concept. Examples of transformation fill nature. A caterpillar, ugly and slow, is transformed into a beautiful and fleeting butterfly. A small see grows into a towering tree. A spark grows into angry flames.

The crucible is for silver, the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

We often see transformation in the lives of people. The experiences and influences of life, positive and negative, work to mature the immature. Perhaps one would see that past mistakes are not a crippling handicap, but a manifestation of qualities which enable the individual to rise above mistakes and also to lift others. Perhaps the one who was raised in a broken home will grow to become a loving husband and devoted father. Perhaps the one who once hated will be motivated to love because she herself had been loved by God in the midst of her ugliness.

The crucible is for silver, the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

God is often the sculptor chiseling away the worthless and useless, transforming willing people into men and women of faith. Do you remember Abraham? Moses? David? Peter? Paul? These men had imperfections, but God molded them into great men of faith and service.

Have you felt God's chisel? Have you experienced the flames of God's smelter? Has God worked to fashion your life into the work of beauty and use he desires? Have you allowed the hands of the sculptor to shape and fashion your life according to his plan?

The crucible is for silver, the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.