Think of a stone, marble, granite or even a diamond now think of where they come from, out of the earth and so did we, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” A slab of marble or granite may be worth five dollars, turn it into a countertop or tile flooring and it is worth hundreds of dollars. A diamond in the rough may be worth tens-of-thousands of dollars, placed in the hands of a skilled jeweler and its value skyrocket to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. Something has to happen to the stone before it achieves its greatest value.
Transform comes to mind, which Webster defines as; a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. The rough stone is assaulted by the pick axe, hammer and chisel before facing the polishing wheel and is ready for use. But the more the craftsman beats on it, grinds on it, pouring his soul into it the greater the value. Like the stone, believing Christians who suffer the most are capable of yielding the most value in kingdom work. It is through pain and suffering that God gets the most out of us, for His glory and to the benefit of others.
The dust, before God decided to use it for His purpose was just dust, in the twinkling of an eye, with a thought it became us, man, humanity and here we are. Those tiny particles of dust could not have imagined they would become something so great and valuable in the eyes of the Creator. God said “I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument,” meaning He is going to transform you (man) from one state of existence into another, He is going to make you an instrument for His work. Exactly, what is a threshing instrument? A threshing-board is an obsolete farm implement used to separate cereal grains from their straw; that is, to thresh.
I will not lump everyone into the same pile but, I have come to believe most people, Christian and non-Christians alike, believe in Divine destiny. That is there are forces or a force (God) exercising influence on and shaping our lives, separating us. To a degree this influence determines our life experiences and eventually destiny. By the same token I believe it is necessary for God’s people to believe our life’s outcome is in His hands. We are products shaped by the will of God and it is our faith in Him that shapes and molds us into instruments that God use to fulfill His divine will.
“For if there be first a willing mind, it is acceptable according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not” (II-Corinthians 8:12). Every person has his and her own different strengths and weaknesses, but God can use any of us to carry out His purposes. The body of Christ is made up of many parts—some clearly visible, some hidden, all useful.
God will make the most of the special talents and spiritual gifts He has given each of us, if we would only raise our hands and make ourselves available to Him. God often uses our hard times to refine us into the people He wants us to be.
We all are works in progress and no, God is not finished with you yet. That realization is progress, after He removes us from the furnace of affliction, grinds away the dross (impurities) and polish us we are jewels in the crown. Polishing, personal and spiritual is the high calling of God, less me, more Jesus and a willing mind. The spirit is willing but, the flesh is weak, let God forge, mold and hammer you into the instrument He would have you be and you will discover what you too can be in the Master craftsman’s hand. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).
Your crown of glory lies in the very heart of these little things—those hardships and trials that are pressing on your heart and soul this very moment. Triumphal arches are not woven out of rose blossoms and silken cords, but of hard blows and bloody scars, bumping and grinding our way through daily life in Christ Jesus. The very hardships that you are enduring in your life today are given by the Master for the explicit purpose of molding you into a sharp threshing instrument for His work. The work of God is not dependent upon your talents or intelligence, personality or posts, only on a willing mind. God can make you stronger than your circumstances.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ