(1 Kings 6-7, Luke 23:27-38)

When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. (1 Kings 6:7)

God’s dealings with us are often severe. The word of the Lord comes to shape us and purify us, dividing even the bone from the marrow. He is incredibly thorough. He will not relent until Christ is formed in us. He uses the chisel of circumstance and the misunderstanding of even the best of friends to fashion us…to make us into sons and daughters.

Nothing is arbitrary. No dealing of God toward us is superfluous or redundant. It is all thoughtfully purposed…all of it. We cannot see, nor can we know what He is working in us, but God knows! Most of our shaping comes in the hidden places, the isolated places, in the quarry…so to speak. We are battered. We are shaped. It is a violent business, to be sure.

But then we are fitted. The Lord knows how He will fit us together within the rest of His body. We are all being built up together as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are like living stones, being placed perfectly and almost seamlessly within the whole structure, with Christ as our chief cornerstone. When the time for being fitted has come, there is no sound of hammering or grinding, only silent reverence. We will finally see what God had in mind all along. The shaping and sanding had a purpose. Everything was necessary. Amen and amen!