June 24, 2009
Upon the Grindstone
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
This excerpt is taken from a book written back in the 1930's that I can certainly relate to as I'm sure many of you can as well:
The best steel is subjected to the alternatives of extreme heat and extreme cold. In a cutlery you will notice that knife-blades are heated and beaten, and then heated again and plunged into the coldest water in order to give them the right shape and temper. You will also observe a large heap of rejected blades, rejected because they would not bear the tempering process; when put upon the grindstone little flaws appeared in some that up to that point had seemed perfect; others would not bear the tempering process.
Souls are heated in the furnace of affliction, plunged into the cold waters of tribulation, and ground between the upper and nether stones of adversity and disaster. Some come out ready for the highest services; others are unfit for any but the lowest uses.
Would you be of account among the forces which are working out the salvation of the world? Be still in the Hands of God until He tempers you!
"Stop Now!" says the knife-blade to the Cutler. "I have been in the fire often enough! Would you burn the life out of me?" But again it goes into the glowing furnace and is heated to white heat. "Stop hammering! I have been pounded enough already." But down comes the sledge. "Keep me out of this cold water! One moment in the fiery furnace, and the next in ice water. It is enough to kill one!" But in it goes. "Keep me off the grindstone! You'll chafe the life out of me!" But it is made to kiss the stone until the Cutler is satisfied. Now see! You may bend it double; yet it springs back straight as an arrow. It is as bright as polished silver, hard as a diamond, and will cut like a Damascus blade. It has been shaped, tempered and polished; it is now worth something.
Be still, and let God temper and polish you, and you will be worth something, too. Allow yourself to be prepared for usefulness. He will give you a post of holy renown if you will let Him fit you for it.
Be still in the furnace fire while the Holy Ghost moulds and polishes your soul.
Rev. R.V. Lawrence
Lord, forgive us for the many times that we've assumed our every trial and tribulation is something to be avoided. For all those times that we run from distress or persecution, questioning how in the world we would manage. Jesus, help us to survive life's beating and come out on the other end completely transformed into useful tools in your service. Would you allow us this week to be still and know that our hardships are designed by You for the perfecting of our faith. Had they not been from you, or had they not been meant for us, You never would have allowed them in the first place. Thank you for not giving us more than we can handle. (1 Cor. 10:13)