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The Rough Edges

I don’t exactly know how a hobby starts, but I am now an official collector of sea glass.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how the Aspen Tree demonstrates the need for community. Since the story of the Aspen hit home (we received a lot of feedback), let me share one additional picture of community.

Recently, I had the incredible privilege of speaking to pastors in Puerto Penasco Mexico, which is located at the northernmost tip of the Gulf of California. While the waves crash against the breaker wall during high tide, the waves are more than 175 yards from the wall during low tide.  The massive expanse of beach during low tide creates a prime opportunity to find incredible shells and sea glass.

Sea glass is formed when natural pieces of broken glass from bottles, tableware or even shipwrecks tumble through the ocean colliding against rocks and other objects until the sharp edges are smooth and rounded.  Because of the salt water, the glass loses its shiny slick look taking on a dull frosted appearance.

The thought of a once sharp object tumbling and constantly colliding with other objects until the edges are rounded appeals to me.  It reminds me of the Holy Spirit using trials, hardships and painful difficulties to round the sharp edges on my personality.  When we encounter painful periods in life, we can submit to the trial as an opportunity for the Lord to shape our personality or we can resist the work of the Lord.

Walking the Mexican beach each morning, I found dozens of pieces of sea glass.  However, most pieces I found, while having lost their sharp edges lacked the smooth edges and frosted appearance.  In other words, the glass needed to spend another decade or two in the ocean to truly smooth its corners.

I Peter 1:7 tells us that “these have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

God graciously, kindly, mercifully, continually throws me back into life’s stormy seas in order to shape my heart to more closely reflect the person of Jesus.  I long to more gladly welcome trials as God’s smoothing work in my sharp edged life.

Far too many pastors believe the lie of Satan, who at his core is a liar.  One of the primary lies he loves to place in the heart of pastors (and all believers) is – If you knew me – if you really knew my secrets – you wouldn’t like me.  As a result, we want no one to see the rough edges on our personality.  Exposing our sharp points is simply too much to risk.

When we believe this lie, we play the happy life game.  We approach every day in extreme loneliness.  We put a smile on our face and make our way through life in isolation.  We dare not risk sharing our life – we don’t certainly don’t bring our pain, brokenness, and insecurity into any relationship.

Many years of serving pastors has taught us that it’s not possible to thrive as isolated entities. It’s not possible to survive without each other. At PastorServe, we help pastors find the confidence to throw themselves back into the ocean of the Lord’s mercy in order to be shaped by the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for loving pastors and smoothing the rough edges off of pastors through your faithful prayer support and generous financial support.

1 Comment

  1. Clay Withers on July 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Thanks my friend! As always, the Lord has again used His heart in you to help shape my heart this morning. I appreciate you so much. How about coffee next week? Clay