I sat down on the stool and looked at the pile of rocks. There were a variety of colors and shapes and sizes. I felt a curiosity inside.

I began to read the instructions that were set before me on the table…

Find a pebble small enough for your to close your hand around it. Put it in your pocket and turn it in your hand. Explore its surface with your fingers. What shape is it? Is it rough or smooth? Or both in different places?

I chose the stone and placed it in my pocket. I began to explore it with my fingers, feeling its shape, its smoothness, and places where it was still rough. Mine was obviously both.

I read Psalm 139:1-5, 23-24.

I reflected on this reality: God knows me. I am unique.

I kept reading and was struck by the idea that God is shaping me, smoothing out the rough places in my life. He is smoothing out my flaws. Wow! I am so aware of my flaws — my shortcomings.

I began to write down areas that I need to work on in my life…

  • Stubborn
  • Selfish – self-seeking
  • Prideful – self-centered
  • Controlling
  • Scared
  • Over-committed
  • Lonely
  • Uncaring
  • A sinner

Then I wrote down the areas that I hoped were pleasing to God as He shaped me and conformed me to the image of Christ…

  • Dependable
  • Listener
  • Serving
  • Caring husband/father
  • Work hard
  • Help others

I continued reading, “Still ponds don’t make pebbles — it takes moving water, like a river or the sea. The water takes the rock on a journey and wears it smooth by rubbing it against other rocks. …Think about the people and situations that God has used to smooth your sharp edges and give thanks for them.”

This next part was difficult for me. I began thinking of people who had hurt me or caused me pain. I thought of situations that were difficult to face, yet somehow I had grown through them. I began to picture these people and problems as tools that God used in my life to cause me to grow – to smooth out my rough edges.

I wrote out names of friends whom God had used to smooth out the roughness – Todd Brooks, Tom Sheahan, Bob Hudson, Jeff Noe, Elijah Hankins, Andre Risse, Grant Horner, Gordy Waldock, Greg Wolf, Greg Baker, Stephen Janho, Dean Carlson, David Malouf, Bob Rasmussen, Ken Morse…

I looked over the list and I thanked God for these men in my life.

I realized that God was quite active in my life!

I am much smoother now because of His active participation in smoothing out my flaws!

Today’s Missional Challenge

Thank God for the people and situations that He has used to shape you and smooth out your flaws!