I couldn’t help thinking about the series of events which brought that rock to being in Jennifer’s hand. Likely, the rock was formed after Noah’s flood as the waters receded from the landscape, creating layers. This is the most likely explanation for the layers since the gravel was quarried just north of us near the Bourbeuse River. Earthquakes and weathering could also have played a roll in its shaping over the centuries. But at some point, it was quarried and scooped into the rock crusher. After undergoing at least one round of crushing, it was sorted and perhaps placed on the conveyor belt to undergo a more substantial crushing, until it reached the desired size. And then, a period of waiting began - waiting for a call from a customer who specifically wanted one-inch clean gravel to be delivered.
Here’s where it gets interesting! It could have been gravel used in the construction of the new Farmers and Merchants Bank in St. Clair. In that case, it would become part of the foundation under the building (a noble calling) or under the parking lot (an important, but less auspicious calling). It could have been used in any number of ways. But that particular rock ended up in our driveway. Now it’s been on our road for a year or so. It’s been driven over countless times. I’ve walked that section of road at least once daily. But it wasn’t until that particular day that it caught Jennifer’s eye and she picked it up.
As we walked on down the road, I was thinking about our development as the people of God. We are called living stones, being built into a spiritual house:
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5, ESV)
We are the temple of the Living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Isn’t it interesting that the stones for the physical temple were not cut and shaped at the temple site. Rather they were shaped at the quarry.
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built. (1 Kings 6:7, NIV)
Much like Jennifer’s rock, we are shaped into who we will be in God’s kingdom long before we ever arrive at the building site. That shaping requires some crushing, maybe some heat and pressure. It involves time. And waiting.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2, ESV)
We know we are being formed (quarried and crushed, if you will) into the image of our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 2:11; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18) How appropriate that is!! He is the Rock of our salvation (Psalm 95:1) and spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4, ESV).
God is preparing a place for us, shaping us into the image of His Son, that we may not only be servants of Almighty God but also be adopted into His family.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9, ESV).
. . . He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6, ESV).
What an unbelievable future for an insignificant rock that started out as so much raw material in God’s creation! Just as Jennifer picked up that rock in the middle of the road, God chose us. That’s what both 1 Peter 2:9 and Ephesians 1:4 (along with a myriad of other verses) say! We were chosen by God, for His purposes.
All of the crushing and shaping, the pressure and waiting, it’s all in God’s hand. Simply put, He’s sovereign.
Jennifer cleaned that rock (an insignificant piece of gravel), wrapped it with wire, covered it with resin, and made a necklace for me to wear. I can’t help but think it’s an appropriate Ebenezer for what we’ve all just come through these past three months.