I was at a leadership meeting a few months ago and we were given a stack of little pictures that we needed to chose from and then we met up in a group of the ones who picked the same picture. I chose the picture of small smooth stones. So we gathered in a group and we were to tell why we chose that picture. No one spoke up so I took the lead and explained my reason for picking that picture.
When I looked at the picture the rocks looked like they were in a dried up river bed immediately I thought of “tumbled”. So I shared that I picked that picture because of the tumbling we all go through to make us into who we should be. I was pretty short and direct in my comments and left it at that. The next girl spoke, she looked to be about 20, very petite and cute, she said she picked that picture because it made her think of water and the ocean and how beautiful it all was. The contrast between us was a chasm, to say the least. We made it around the whole group of mostly seasoned women and the group grew quiet. All of a sudden the young girl put her hand on my arm and said “you are feeling tumbled? Is there something I can do?” In all her sweetness, and she certainly meant well, I almost laughed. She had no idea what being tumbled was. And she thought it was a bad thing. In my years of serving the Lord and just plain “living” I found that I need to be tumbled. If I don’t periodically get tumbled then I become stagnant like the river that stops flowing and becomes a pond. Stagnant water is not living water, its dead. Tumbled stones are beautiful, they have lost their sharp edges and become smooth and shiny. If you pick up a tumbled stone you will without thinking, rub the stone, it even feels nice. Its cool to the touch and has a silky texture. Before the stone became tumbled it wouldn’t have been picked up and admired, it would have been tossed away and not the cute way of seeing how far it can skim the water, either. It would have been tossed to get it out of the way so you won’t step on it.
Andy Andrews said recently in a tweet “Adversity will shape and mold you to lead better. A lack or absence of adversity? There’s not much benefit in that.” We should not be afraid of tumbling we should say “thank you Lord, I may not always like it, it may hurt, it may feel uncomfortable but you love me enough to not let me stay the same sharp tongued, callous person I was before”. My tumbling’s have not been fun. I didn’t like them at the time. And the ones I am going through now, I would love to have finished this round. But God knows best. He knows what it will take. I am trying my best to learn to be thankful in the middle of it all. To not grumble and complain but give Him glory in spite of it. I’m not perfect and I have my moments but I turn and give thanks quicker than i did a few years ago. James 1:2 & 3 “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”