One of the benefits of living in a coastal country in Africa is that the beach is not far away. I have always found the sound of the ocean to have a calming effect when I am in a stressful situation. And after this particular week, I needed the calming effect! I had wondered all week if I was really where God wanted to me be and if He could use me here.
While sitting on the beach, I leaned back and my hand hit a rock. I picked it up and saw that it could have been a good skipping stone except the edges were not rounded. They were jagged and rough. It would take years of tides to smooth the edges of this stone. I realized that I was a lot like that rock. I have a lot of jagged edges, too.
Leaning back on the other arm, my hand hit another rock. The similarity between the two amazed me. They could have been from the same quarry. But this second stone was smaller and smoother — perfect for a skipping stone. I sensed God’s message: Yes, it takes time and work, but I too can be a useful vessel for Him. I have to be patient as God sends circumstances into my life that smooth out my rough edges. Perhaps the difficulties of this week were part of the smoothing process in my life.
I still have those rocks. They sit on my bookshelf to encourage me to continue to be willing to be changed. They serve as a reminder that “all of us are the work of God’s hand. ” (Isaiah 64:8)
Faithe Finley Thomas lived as a missionary in Ghana, West Africa for six years. Her book “Staying in the Breeze" is a thoughtful reflection of some of her experiences. It can be purchased through Master Design - http://www.masterdesign.org/books/sffinley.shtml