From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.-Ephesians 4:16
I am a stone among countless stones being fitted together by God to create the time and span of all humanity. I have been set in my appointed place, surrounded by other stones. I am in this specific place – in time, in body, in calling – because many others were set in their places first, biologically, emotionally and spiritually. No stone was placed accidentally. Every stone has a purpose.
As living stones, we are sculpted and fitted to create a representation of God’s Kingdom here on this earth. We were chiseled and rolled and scraped and carved into our place. Through the sculpting process, the essence of who we are takes shape. As of this writing (because that’s as far as I know today), I have been sculpted into a father, a husband, a son, a builder, a musician, a worship team member, an outreach leader, a friend…you get the idea? I am all of these things, not because I do them but because they are a result of who I am. But even still, this is not all of “me”. As I grow, mature, and become transformed into the image of Christ, the sculpting process will continue to reveal even more of who I am.
So much of the sculpting process takes place as we are fitted alongside other stones. This fitting causes us to rub and scrape on others, wearing away things in us that prevent us from connecting. I am not a worship leader because I can play the guitar or sing, but because my leadership placed me under people who challenged me to be more than a musician. I am not a father because of biology or a husband because of a ring, but because my parents, spiritual parents and older friends inspired me to become those things. I am an outreach leader because of my team demanding growth on my part. I am a teacher because of all you wonderful people who wrestled with me as a teen and young adult, teaching me and allowing me to teach. I am so very grateful for all of the stones that have rubbed and chiseled away at me for these many years!
See, we are never a stone set apart unto our own. We are joined to other stones. We are never the Cornerstone; that was Jesus Christ. We are never the most important stone or even a better stone than the ones around us. We all stand on the shoulders of someone else, and we must remember this as we grow. We must learn to honor the ones who have gone before: to walk in humility and respect for the ones who have made a place for us to shine. We must always be looking for those stones which we are to propel forward and edify (build-up), creating a place for them to shine, too. It is in the fitting together of stones from our past and stones in our future that we are truly building a body fitly framed together, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Endless affection to the stones I stand upon……
Q: Who are you thankful for in your life? Take this opportunity to thank someone who is a “stone” in your life.