As Stone Prepared : How God pulls broken dirty things from the earth and makes them beautiful

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2881238-solomon-s-temple-0This is a picture of King Solomon’s temple, the place where God’s very presence dwelt.  It’s hard to believe that someday there will be a holy place far beyond this glory, and any ever built on earth. Revelation 21 describes it:  “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and I saw the holy city coming down out of heaven from God made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice saying, behold the tabernacle of God is among men and he shall dwell among men… he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God having the glory of God. Her brilliance like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal clear jasper.” But that is not now.

now, we live in a quarry, a deep filthy pit,  the earth and mankind are the stones being prepared for the kingdom of God.

“the house was being built with stones prepared at the quarry” I king 6:7&12.

This verse reminds me that he doesn’t take us from earth and prepare us in the heaven, no he excavates and prepares us all in one place, and then brings us to heaven. Because he is simultaneously preparing heaven for his children and with children.

We can look at Solomon’s temple as a physical representation of a spiritual lesson. This earth is the quarry where people are found, prepared and presented to the father like bricks in his kingdom. stones-of-croatia-kamen-pazin-uk-kirmenjak-quarry-limestone-16

I Peter 2:5 says, you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, for a holy priesthood and Christ a precious cornerstone.

The house of God is made up of his people. The people of God become the holy city, prepared here and brought there. Just as the stones from the quarry were prepared in the quarry and brought to the building site where Solomon was preparing the temple of the Lord. The temple was built in order to be a place where God’s people could meet with and worship the Living God.

Many of us have spent our lives buried in deep, dark, places of the earth unseen uncelebrated and spent. Alicia Britt Chole, author of Anonymous,  calls these, hidden places. If this is true there’s not much we can do but wait until God appoints our extraction. Christ is the one who finds us and the holy spirit works to bring us forth blameless to the Father. The bible says we didn’t choose him but he chose us, He first loved us, He calls us, he changes us. Even so he says to Israel, I chose you and appointed you a light to the nations. The Lord who made also us finds us, not when we are alive but when we are dead. when we are dead in our sin and buried beneath the weight of our filth and flesh,  Jesus goes to work making us new, bringing us to life. When he finds us we look pretty rough, who could recognize our value but the one who made us. who could know that removing all the earth would reveal splendor and brilliance, like a bride adorned. The foundation of the house even though it is beneath is still glorious, even more so perhaps since it has suffered the most , it shines the brightest. It takes time to prepare stones for the house of God with such beauty. and even though we may just be a simple stone in the wall of the holy city, each servant must go through a rigorous process to reveal the beautiful newness of our nature.

I have a friend who refinishes old furniture. Her basement is full of old windows, doors, broken glass and other found items. She explained, as she walked me through her home all her beloved pieces. She pointed out all the things other people were throwing away. All the things she found on the side of the road that no one else wanted, old stained, weathered and worn out. But she wanted them she saw something special and precious and priceless in each and every piece. My friend goes to great lengths to rescue these rejected fragments, and give them a home, some are still waiting for her touch, some are in process and others have been fully restored, but she knows each one and she sees their future. Furniture placed in the light with an artist’s loving touch changes the worth of each piece from unwanted to highly prized in her eyes. As we walked she would point to a chair, my neighbor was throwing that one out, or a chest of drawers, I refinished this one with my daughter, she brought me into her dining room where there was a long wooden table, this was on the side of the road. She knew and remembered each piece like they were her children. and all of them together made her home like a stained-glass window with bits and pieces of different colors all coming to life as she spoke. She remembered how she found each one, where she found it and why she loved them. I can’t help but determine that she is being Christ like in her work, because that is exactly what Christ does with us. He finds us in a state that no one wants us with all our blemishes and scratches that sin has left. We often are in a state of uselessness, brokenness, and death, disdained by the world, waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck and crushed into forgetfulness. But Christ sees something in us and he reaches down and pulls us to his side, he brings us home and makes us part of his home, he uses us like Solomon’s builders used the stone to make the house of God. I love the picture of Immanuel walking the earth for the very purpose of seeking that which is lost for the very purpose to restore and refurnish.

Some of us are in the quarry right now. It’s hard being hidden, unseen, alone in the dark, unknown, unwanted because we are covered in dirt. Doubt, discouragement, anger and disappointment only add to the state of our condition like rain on a wooden surface.
Has God forgotten? Hebrew 10:6

A master builder and skilled craftsman never forget valuable assets, neither does he replace them, but repairs them. Isaiah 49:16 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me..

broken-chair

sleeping20on20street

When we are hidden away for a long time, or sitting on the side of the road, overlooked and under loved, when we are encrusted with sin and it hides the beauty of God’s image in us. do not forget that God doesn’t love based on what we are but what he can make us to be. He loved us when we were nothing special. We need to focus on him the artist rather than us the finished product.. Jesus finds us dirty and makes us clean, rather than purchasing us when we are clean and discarding us when we get old. if he takes us to himself when we are broken we have the hope that he will never leave us or forsake us because he took us in at our worst. And if he could transform us once he can do it again and again and again, until our very existence reflects his perfect image.

a stone is tormented as it is being prepared in the quarry for the house of God. Faith is not a life of ease and comfort. The true Christ centered life is a life of suffering. Waiting to be found, chiseled out, hammered and brushed with heavy wire brushes and picked at, to get every speck of dirt and encrusted rock out. It hurts as God removes the sin in our hearts, either the sin we commit or the sin that so has stained us. Gemstone Mining is awfully sophisticated and deadly process that requires enormous input of precious resources such as time, workforce, equipment’s and expertise etc. There are different techniques for recovering the gemstone from the earth. In order to achieve optimistic results, the primary requirement of this procedure is to recognize the gemstone deposits; Specifically, sawing, grinding, sanding, lapping, polishing, grilling, and tumbling. Heat and radiation is frequently used to alter or improve gemstone colors.

And all this happens here on earth, in the dust, because that is where we are born. But not where we stay.

In the end when God’s house is completed and he enters in and his light shines through all the precious stones which line the walls of his dwelling we will then behold his likeness and see what he saw when he first loved us.

Just remember what we are being restored for!

and the  street of the city was pure Gold, like transparent glass. and I saw no temple in it for the Lord God, the Almighty and the Lamb are it temple and the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it for the  glory of God has illumined it, and it lamp is the Lamb. Revelation 21:22

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