Read Proverbs 27
Focus on verse 17
I used to find it fascinating to watch the sparks that fly off a grinding wheel when my father sharpened his tools. He was always careful to have me stand far enough away that I was not hit by them. It was not until I became old enough to begin learning how to use the grinder that I realized how hot these sparks were when they hit my bare skin or dropped into my untied shoe. The process of sharpening a tool typically involves grinding away at the edge being sharpened. If tools had feelings I have a hunch this would be a painful process for them, however, a wise tool would choose to endure the pain in order to be a more effective tool.
In todays chapter in Proverbs it says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (v. 17) One of the young men I had opportunity to mentor a few years back was quite gifted in using descriptive words when he expressed himself. Occasionally when I would confront him on some of the issues in his life, he would say, “alright already…stop grinding me”. I always thought this was a fitting description of exactly what was happening. As we encouraged each other in our efforts to follow Jesus more closely, we would often grind on each other and at times it got a little uncomfortable, but it was usually exactly what we needed to make us more effective tools for the Lord to use in the building of His Kingdom.
There have been many people in my life that the Lord has used and continues to use as he grinds away those parts of my life that need to be removed in order for me to become conformed to the image of Christ. I admit that it is rarely a comfortable process, sometimes its down right painful! And at time… I resist it, but God is patient, gentle and persistently faithful in this methodical process of grinding on me. Sometimes he uses circumstances most often He uses other people who He brings into my life at just the right time.
One day I expect the grinding will stop, because His masterpiece will be completed. That day is the day that I will step through the veil from this life into the next. Since I do not know exactly when that day will be, I choose to be content to let the sparks fly as He uses me to grind on others and others to grind on me. Perhaps if we look at it as a process of becoming more like Him, we might be more likely to learn to appreciate those whom He uses to grind on us, rather than to view them as a pain in the posterior.