Saturday, July 13, 2013
To Sharpen...And Refine
Adam took this picture back in April, and I had slated it to inspire a post on this blog. It's been over three months, and only now am I getting around to it. The backstory is that we were on our way to a friend's house for a party or dinner or something (can't remember), when we saw this guy sitting outside the gate. Usually, there's no one set up for business right there. Adam's pocket knife needed to be sharpened, so he asked this guy to do the job. The man slowly and methodically went about doing so. I thought I was going to die of impatience waiting for him to sharpen the dull blade. I'm not sure what any of the tools he used were called, but that knife blade went through the works and was thoroughly sharpened by the end. Several different stones were used, plus that spinning wheel thing. He kept going and going. His gloves were frayed from testing many blades. When he was finally finished, he removed his gloves and tested the blade against his skin. Adam was impressed with the process and satisfied with the result and extremely cheap price (maybe it was 5 kuai, I think).
But it did make me think about how we are sharpened and refined in God's redemptive fires. He uses many tools in our lives and we don't always know how long it's going to take. It's not enough to remove the rough edges, but he takes away all the imperfections along the sides of the blade, he smooths, and polishes, and shines. He takes off his gloves and tests us. He does it all, free of charge. And in the end, He is pleased with the results as we worship Him in heaven, having completed the process of sanctification.
Thank you, little man, for reminding me that God is continually at work in my life. He uses one instrument after another to bring us closer to Him.