Refine Me Like a Rock

We don’t fully understand trials.  Difficulties sometimes create fissures in our faith.  Once we become a Christian, shouldn’t everything be sunshine and flowers?  Doesn’t God straighten the path, removing all the obstacles and valleys?

Being a follower of Christ doesn’t remove all trials; it provides the help and guidance to endure the trials.  Every difficulty has a purpose whether to grow you spiritually, teach a lesson, or increase your dependability on God.  No sorrow is ever wasted. 

During a recent vacation to Colorado the purpose of trials was further revealed to me.  I sat next to a stream and listened for hours to the babbling and sometimes rushing water.  Eventually, my attention focused on the rocks.  Some were on the banks firmly planted but dirty, jagged and what seemed forlorn while others were half buried beneath the flow with only a bit of themselves being pummeled by the water. 

But a few were completely submerged with water swishing around, bubbling over.  What I noticed were the rocks taking the brunt of the down current were smooth, luminescent, and beautiful.  Immediately, I correlated it to our own tribulation or difficulties.  While we may not like enduring struggles and challenges, they are transforming us into something beautiful.

The problems cut away our hard edges, removing layers of dirt and baggage and imperfections.  We are being refined and changed.  So many times I have looked back at a complicated time in my life and view it from a completely different perspective.  I realize I am stronger, wiser, and walking closer to God.  

I don’t know about you, but I think I would prefer to be tested and formed into beauty than left alone to sit along the shore with my dirt, rough places, and grime.

But he knows the way that I take: when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  Job 23:10

About Shelley Pulliam   Read more by this author...

Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at 6 in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me at

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