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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Kind Chisel

Have you ever witnessed someone experience the pain of being sculpted?  I have.  It can be a horrible process to observe.

Michelangelo said, "In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."  Our Lord can clearly envision, in our rugged blocks of marble, the potential to form the very image of Christ.  He "makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image" (2 Cor 3:18).  

But the process of having pieces chipped away by a hammer and chisel is nothing short of excruciatingly painful.  Over time, when we truly begin to bear the likeness of Jesus, and the chisel must work closer and closer to the core of who we were designed to be, the pain only increases.  At first, when we look nothing like Jesus, the chunks of rock that are removed are obvious and our grief may be minimal, but as we grow closer to His image, we may be surprised at what pieces still need to be removed.  We may think we love, but it's not yet like Christ loves.  We may think we forgive, but it doesn't come close to resembling the no-record-of-wrongs forgiveness Christ demonstrated to those around Him as He hung on the cross.  Our righteousness is being painfully chipped away so that eventually all that remains is Jesus Himself. 

Remember, Jesus only rebukes and disciplines those He loves (Rev 3:18).  The Father only prunes branches that bear fruit so that they may bear even more fruit (John 15:2). Despite the often unbearable pain that accompanies that sharp chisel, what a comfort to know that He only shapes us because He loves us!  He only prunes away superfluous branches because He there is evidence of fruit in our lives and He wants to help us produce more!

When asked how he created such majestic statues, an anonymous sculptor famously replied, "I simply chip away everything that doesn't look like the desired finish product."  

Lord, chip away everything in our lives that is not like You. 
Spirit, comfort us as we recover. 


Scott A said...

An interesting comparison, one that I had never considered.

We each (loving) blow of the hammer, we get closer to desired finish product. Unfortunately, the medium that this Sculptor works in is nearly impossible to use. And the sculpture will never be complete, at least not in this world.

mtc said...

Thank you Aaron. A beautiful picture of God working in our lives. God Bless You and Your Family.

Rebecca said...

love the comparison. beautiful...

Stephanie said...

I love this!Going through some painful chiseling right now!

DD said...

Thank you for this. I have both witnessed the chiseling of those I love and in recent years felt it myself. Your family is in my prayers as I drive to work in the mornings. It really helps to have a community of believers who have each felt Jesus shaping them in their lives. Thank you for always incorporating the encouraging scriptures that help remind and inspire me to carry on. God bless all you Shusts. :)

Kaylee Ridgell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaylee Ridgell said...

My Pastor talked about the same thing a few Sundays ago it is a really interesting way to think of it. Thank you!! you are all in my prayers, God Bless :)

Shirley-TFC said...

Aaron, this is so true. Thanks for sharing your heart. It is a difficult but much needed process if we truly do want to be obedient. The best part is that there are, TRULY, blessings that follow. Nothing like it!! Praying for you!