I was taking a hike with my daughter a few months back and we came to a river crossing. We stopped for a while and my daughter discovered a number of beautiful rocks and pebbles that had been polished by the force of the water brushing the rocks against each other.
Before the river’s strong current transformed these rocks into beautiful treasures to be discovered by my eight-year-old, the intense water pressure had to pound on the very plain rubble for hundreds of years. It wasn’t a gentle or pleasant process. And the inherent nature of the stones didn’t change, they were still the same old rocks. And yet, through an intense and even fierce process, what once was average and easy to overlook had become a young girl’s prize.
Because the process is so unbearably slow, we often miss the incredible changes that life’s erosion is causing in us. If we are able to patiently endure and trust that God has our back through our trials, we will start to discover hidden strengths and qualities that we didn’t know we had before.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. (Romans 5:3-4)