How many grains of sand are melted to make a pane of glass? Certainly it depends on how big and thick the glass is to be. What the glass is to be used for is normally what determines the thickness and color. It comes at no surprise that a beautiful crystal glass that resonates at the touch of your hand is much thinner than the windows on an armored car. Both are made of glass but put them next to each other and throw a rock at them. The crystal will shatter instantly but the rock will bounce off the window taken from the armored car. What would happen if someone threw something at you?
Would you be like the crystal, beautiful to the eye and elegant to the touch yet fragile enough that any little attack could shatter you into pieces? Or would you be strong enough that you could withstand the attacks of others?
Bullet-proof glass is not one single sheet of melted sand, but composed of layers of altering thickness combined with layers of transparent plastic. The number of layers and their thickness determines how successful that window will be at deflecting an attack. The makers of armored cars know that trying to shield their vehicles with crystal is beyond imagination so why do many Christians believe it will work for them?
Much like the artisan that gathers the sand and processes it into wonderful, useful items, God wants to mold and shape you into a person of such faith that the attacks aimed at you will bounce off leaving no marks. He wants to protect you from those that would do you harm.
The glassmaker takes years to learn his trade. He needs to learn which sand to use for different items and how to properly melt, turn and color that specific sand to accomplish the desired result. God already knows what kind of “sand” He is working with and He knows exactly what it will take to mold you into a strong and useful believer. Unlike the sand however, the believer has an obligation to do their part in the building process. Sand cannot refuse to cooperate with the kiln or the rod, but God is not working with sand. He is working with people that have free will. While there are those that readily accept the responsibility, some choose to totally disregard instruction. There are also those that want to learn but do not know where to get their instructions.
The great thing about God is that He did not leave people to resort to such guesswork. Acts 20:32 says, "And now I entrust you to God and the word of his grace--his message that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.” He has given us His written word to read and study so that we can know how to let Him craft us not only into a beautiful vessel but also into a vessel that is safe from attack.
Do not disregard God’s word and stop at the point that your faith is beautiful but breakable. Place God’s word in your heart and soul so that your faith is not only unbreakable, but it is also unshakeable.
Lovely Patrick. I guess most people are tempted to make themselves like crystal - beautiful on the outside - without bothering to think of trials. I pray more people make themselves strong and beautiful from the Inside. Amen.
Amen Patrick! Would that we would all be tempered glass, strong enough to withstand whatever comes our way. Maybe we need to remember to help shield our weaker brothers who are just starting the strengthening process and encourage them to keep growing stronger day by day! God bless! Donna