Written by James A. Frost
Into every life comes times that we
hang on God alone.
Heavy times… when all human
props are gone.
Yet we find in Him that ever and
all sufficient Grace.
There’s no storm so dark that if we
look up, we will fail to see His face.
Then comes that stillness born of
trust to me.
I feel the brush of angel wings as
I know His Divine sufficiency.
Gone is the tumult… gone is
earth’s strident cries.
When He bids my heart come, and
to His bosom it flies.
Conducted into His presence, I
bow before the throne of my King.
The Joy He so surely gives will
always make you sing.
The Great Lapidary is so gently and
kindly polishing His gem,
Taking my trials and working out the
beauty, when I leave it with Him.
Have you have ever heard of a lapidary? A lapidary is a gem cutter. It is someone that takes a precious stone in the rough and turns it into a beautiful gemstone.
In nature, gems are not found looking like they do in a jewelry store. They must be prepared to look that way. A lot of tools and skill are used to prepare the stone.
if you found a precious stone in the rough you would see a lot of extra material that is around the rock or mineral from when it was mined. A skilled lapidary uses saws and other tools to mold the rocks and minerals and remove the excess “junk” that surrounds it. When a gem is cut well it shines and is very impressive. A gem not cut well will be ugly and dull.
Somehow in our American view of God we have come to think that because “God so loved the world” that He loves everybody unconditionally and that what we do matters not to God, because he loves us so and that He will just wink at the sin in our lives. Also we have come to think that if someone is “living for Jesus” then their life will be a “bed of roses.” Of course, this then leads to the false idea that if a person experiences trials such an illness, or other calamaties then they must not be living right before God, and therefore God is punishing them. Many times people say, “See all that sickness in that family? I told you. They’re not living right.”
With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at God being like a “Great Lapidary” shaping our lives for His divine purposes, chipping and grinding away those undesireable parts and poilishing us to shine like jewels. Isaiah 1:25 (New International Version) says: “I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 compares trials to purging impuities from gold: “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Lastly, Jesus compares God to a gardener: in John 15:1-2 (NASB) he says “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
Be encouraged today and know that if you are a child of God, he will be shaping you, purging you, and pruning you.