Do you sometimes feel as though life is pounding you, tossing you about and throwing you onto rocks?
On the coast of Pascadero, California is the famous Pebble Beach where the waves dash with a ceaseless roar, thundering onto the stones on the beach, tossing them and grinding them together, and hurling them against the rugged cliffs. This continues day and night, every day and every night. Tourists from all over the world gather the beautiful, rounded, polished stones for ornaments and jewellery.
Just next to Pebble Beach is a towering cliff which breaks the force of the dashing waves. In the quiet cove sheltered by the cliff, is another “pebble beach.” There is the same abundance of stones but they are unsought and unwanted. They have escaped the turmoil and the beating of the waves, so they are rough and angular and devoid of beauty.
Isn’t life like this? The trouble and strife we encounter, like being put through a grinder, is hard to bear, but when we endure we can look back on those times with thankfulness because we can see how being tossed to and fro and battered and beaten actually made us better people. We have lost those rough edges. The hard exterior has been penetrated and the true inner radiance is released.
Christians are warned to expect troubles. We are not promised a bed of roses or a life of ease. We are clay in the potter’s hands, or gold in the refiner’s fire – but we are precious to our Redeemer. We KNOW that He desires the very best for us. As we allow Him to mould us and make us in His image we can rejoice because we KNOW that He is there in the midst of our troubles and that He will enable us to be more than conquerors.