I remember one of our favorite family vacations to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We stopped near Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We waded into Lake Superior and jumped the waves. As we walked along the lakeshore (and dodged the blackflies), we picked up rocks as our take-home souvenir. My oldest son exclaimed that the pebbles looked like, “Pulled-off lollipops.” They truly did. The edges were worn smooth through constant tumbling in the waves and the water made the rocks shiny with color.
Like that pebble, God intends the storms and the waves of our lives to soften our rough edges. In the tumbler of life, God shows us that by submitting to him, he can use our struggles for his purpose. The result is a refined beauty that is genuine and not only eye-catching, but heart-catching. Do we continue to resist? Or do we allow all of God to wash over us in anticipation of who we will become in him?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.