Stones With Fair Colors
  By Gary Bowell

    "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones" (Isa. 54:11-12).

    God speaks to us in this passage of precious gems: sapphires, agates, carbuncles Ė all developed through fire and heat or pressure. We remember when hobbyists wish to polish stones, they use a device and let them tumble for weeks to make them smooth and shiny. The art of lapidary is quite an art. Peter tells us we are Godís lively (living) stones (1 Pet. 2:4). God knows just the process necessary and He can use the pressures of life to give us that "foundation" that we need. The difficult things can work for good and be of benefit to our spirits. In His sight, and later in ours, the "stones" will be seen to be of "fair colors."

    Someone has noted that in the beautiful tabernacle, all the materials were gained through pressure: the metals were shaped; the threads were spun; the dyes were secured; the wood was shaped; the spices ground; the precious oils squeezed. So our Heavenly Father is developing us to shine in His beauty in His eternal Kingdom!

    An unknown author penned:

The Hard Way

"For every hill Iíve had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings but a grateful song Ė
These were the things that made
me strong!"