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I'm showing my age when I ask this question, but do your remember the rock polishing kit? I don't know if they still make them, but I had one when I was little. I asked for it for Christmas one year and could hardly wait to turn ordinary rocks into precious jewels. I remember opening it and taking in the pictures on the front of the box. Just as I was about to tear into the box, I heard my mama telling me to wait to open it so we wouldn't lose anything in all the ribbon and wrapping paper. "What?" "Wait?!" I've waited a month for this thing and you want me to wait?! I probably sat there holding the box with one eye on the progress of the clean up and the other on every rock outside the window that I was going to magically transform into jewels. The minute I got the "go ahead," I was out the door collecting rocks. Within seconds I was back loaded down with the goods and tearing into the much anticipated box. I went straight for the machine. I didn't need to read directions, I had studied the picture on the top of the box for what seemed like an eternity, and it seemed simple enough. Plug it in, drop in the rock, and voila! Polished rocks, baby!
By this time the family had gathered around to see the magic. I plugged it in, and the sound of the motor was music to my ears. I carefully chose my rock and put it in the polisher. After the longest minute of my life, I turned off the machine to unveil my jewels. As you have probably guessed, or even experienced yourself, there was no jewel, only a rock. It didn't look any different. There wasn't even one little sparkle or hint of a jewel. I turned it back on for another minute, then another minute , then another minute, then I decided it was broken. I wanted some sparkle and shine in seconds and got nothing. I think at that point I lost my audience, and somebody recommended reading the directions. I have to admit, I didn't see that coming. The hum of the motor was no longer music but an irritating noise that wouldn't go away. Mama moved the polisher into the laundry room, plugged it in, and shut the door.
I tell that story because it illustrates my heart so well. As a believer in Jesus I want to be like Him. I'll read a new book or study something fabulous and try to make all these changes in my life and be all these amazing things, and by the end of the day I'm exhausted. The point is that my heart is really like that ordinary rock off the sidewalk. My heart, like the rock, was dirty with sin, but Jesus died on the cross and His blood cleansed my heart white as snow as if I'd never sinned. Now, as I spend time with Him getting to know Him more intimately, He sands those rough spots on my heart to make me more like Him. He makes the changes in me, in my heart from the inside out. He sands and polishes until you see His sweet reflection in me. Some changes are easy and some require heavy duty sanding that really hurts. Either way, it's a process and doesn't happen in "minutes" or even over night.
As difficult as it may be to wait, it's the process that proves to be so sweet. It's in the "process" I am more aware of my sin and my weakness. It's then I can truly learn to rest and trust completely in Him. The more I trust Him, the more I fall in love with Him. The more I fall in love with Him, the more I become like Him.
I must admit, the rock polishing kit was a huge let down on Christmas day. However, after weeks of listening to the rocks go round and round and round.... it was worth the wait! Ordinary rocks were transformed into stunning jewels. In the same way, when you give your heart to Jesus, He polishes it till His reflection beautifully shines through you.
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6 love love love Ruthie