Written by Jordan Stafford
We are sea glass. Let me explain.
Broken and shattered bottles tossed aside by undesiring hands create the beautiful sea glass found along many shores. With each pounding wave and each blow against the seafloor, fragments are broken off from each side. Broken glass can be refined for decades as the edges become soft and the color becomes hazy enough for it to become what we recognize as sea glass. The glass must endure being tossed and turned in the ocean against the rough sand until it is finally transformed from brokenness to the beauty we collect and arrange in jars on a shelf. We are this sea glass.
Before God becomes the center of our lives, we are nothing but broken glass. And just as the sea glass endures the rough sand and the ocean waves, we must endure the pain and trials of life, knowing that we are being molded into beautiful reflections of Jesus Himself.
With each rough patch in our lives and with each heartbreak or disappointment, we are being crafted into who God designed us to be from the very beginning. Each of those hard experiences chip away the rough edges and transform us. God allows these struggles to be a part of our lives to shape and refine us from brokenness to complete and beautiful children of God.
In Job 1, we read that Job was extremely wealthy, owning 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, oxen, donkeys, and servants. Not only was he wealthy, verse 3 reveals that he was the wealthiest of all in the land. Imagine owning 7,000 Lamborghinis and 3,000 houses around the world—this was the type of wealth that Job had! In this moment, his life doesn’t appear broken or shattered; it appears to be a perfect dream. As we continue reading, we see that the rough waves become evident in chapter 2. God knows Job’s heart and takes his livestock, his servants, and even his children in order to refine him. God did not do this out of anger but out of love. He protects and molds us in His image each moment of every day. As Job endures these trials, he immediately worships the Lord and proclaims His goodness in the midst of painful loss. Job’s hope was in the Lord and this was enough for him in spite of losing all his belongings and his children. Job was content knowing his situation was changing, yet his hope in the Lord was unchanging. Because of Job’s relationship with God, he was prepared for the rough patches ahead.
In each of our lives, we will face trials, hardships, and loss, during which there are lessons to be learned and thanksgiving to be celebrated. Lucius Seneca is recorded stating, “a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
If you are in a season of pain, be encouraged that God is transforming and refining you. And be thankful in the process, no matter how hard that may seem while you’re in the thick of it. If you are in a season of smooth waters, remember to prepare yourself for the storm. Job didn’t know what the future held, but he cultivated his relationship with God regardless of his current season. Storing Scripture in your heart, as Psalm 119:11 tells us, is one way to prepare for these trials. Perhaps this week, memorize a verse in Scripture that you don’t already know. Ultimately, whether you choose to do this or not, strengthening your relationship with the Lord is the only hope that can heal your brokenness and deliver you from the storm you are in or the storm you will someday face. My prayer for each of you reading this is that you never forget your best day, that you still need God as desperately as you did on your worst day.
You are being refined. You are being made beautiful. You are sea glass.