Changed for a Purpose

The Spaniards visited the area, which now makes up the country of Canada, long before the French ever visited the country. They searched for silver and gold but they didn’t find anything. So in their native tongue they said “a Canada,” which means “there is nothing here.” The Indians of Canada watched the Spaniards closely. They heard them saying again and again “a canada,” and they learned its meaning.

Years later the French came to explore the area which is now Canada. The Indians thought they were looking for silver and gold just like the Spaniards so they repeatedly told them “a Canada,” or there is nothing here. But as it happened, the French were not looking for silver and gold. There were thick forests, fertile valleys and scenic mountains and they were very pleased with what they found. Since the Indians kept saying “a Canada” the French thought this must be the name of the country. So thus the country of Canada was born.

But here’s “the rub,” as they say. To the Spaniards, Canada was a place with nothing. Yet to the French the land was full of rich possibilities. The Chinese have a famous proverb that says “Jade must be chiseled before it can be considered a gem.”

A life without God is like unchiseled jade. Someone once said “God loves us as we are but too much to leave us that way.” And so as we accept Jesus into our heart and life the journey begins. We learn about God. We learn about His likes and dislikes. We learn about His promises and blessings. But God knows that a head full of knowledge is not enough. He has to allow the soil to be tilled so we learn to know God intimately…so we learn to recognize the Master’s voice and not another. The chisel falls again, again and yet again until we wonder if we can stand another blow.

“But now this is what the Lord says, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, and when you walk through fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

God creates us. He forms us. He molds us as a Potter shapes the clay. And through this painful process He makes us really, genuinely, completely His. He can now call us by name. He knows us and we know Him, for the Potter has left the impression of His fingerprints on our hearts. And the result?? The result is His power becomes our power. Our trials are no longer our trials…they are His. The molding, the shaping, the chiseling?? It’s a painful process…but the results are OUT OF THIS WORLD!!


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