On a recent trip, I was able to see some of Michelangelo’s work. Leading up to it, they had one of his quotes up on the wall. It said, “I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set him free.” It reminded me of another quote I had read by another sculptor named Rodin. He said, “I choose a block of marble and chop off what I don’t need.” These artists start off by seeing something hidden deep inside the rock. They then start knocking off big chunks. As it gets closer to what they’re trying to create, the take off smaller and smaller pieces. Then they sand it down to get it just right.
It reminds me of God’s refinement process. He is an artist as well looking to set free our potential and purpose. The Bible refers to Him as a potter with us as the clay. I once watched a potter work. He put the lump of clay in the center of his wheel. He molded it and shaped it beautifully. He then began to take out the middle so that it could be a vessel. Finally, he added in designs to this incredible piece. After he was done, he held it up to applause from the crowd. He then looked at us and crumbled the clay back into a ball. He said, “Until this goes through fire, it will never fulfill its purpose.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner” (MSG). God’s refinement process includes removing big chunks from our lives, sanding, shaping and other detailed work. However, it also includes going through fiery trials. If you’re in a season of fire or feel like chunks of your life are falling away, remember that God is at work in you setting free your potential and purpose. You must goes through God’s refinement process to receive the promises of God.