(July 23, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages any who feel discarded …
An impossible task!
That’s what the project that I had set myself suddenly seemed as I looked down at the pile of rocks – or to be technical – large pieces of cut or sawn stones.
I had been working on the back garden we had some years ago and, being creative, had envisioned an attractive dry stone wall. And I had decided that I could build that wall by myself and save costs.
The various shaped stones arrived, several quite heavy. But I wasn’t desponded, even though I had never built a dry stone wall before and had neither instruction manual nor helper – Robert was away ministering.
Well, here goes, I thought (plus ‘Help, Holy Spirit’ and similar prayers!). In my mind I planned it all out and then began to build so creatively. And all went well until a certain point …
I just couldn’t find the right piece of stone for the next joint. Nothing would fit the breech in the design. I searched and searched to no avail. There just wasn’t a beautiful shapely stone that would fit in.
A lesson learned
This is impossible I was now thinking.
Suddenly I remembered Luke 11:9 – ‘Seek and you will find’ – that this encouragement from Jesus infers that one should go on seeking. And so with renewed hope I continued looking among the various stones… but now with a positive, expectant attitude.
Then I found it! But it wasn’t what I thought I needed.
I had been searching for yet another beautiful, well-shaped piece of cut stone and had missed the precious gem that I needed to take the project further. Instead I discovered what I needed to fit the breech was a discarded, ugly misshaped piece that had somehow been among the load that had been delivered.
Discarded yes, beautiful no, precious yes! It was perfect… exactly what I needed to ensure other stones around would now fit together and see my project fulfilled! The seeming impossible task was now possible.
In fact, this piece that had seemed useless to the overall design not only fitted well but it was the key stone to completing the wall and making the whole thing so attractive, practical and aesthetic.
Sometimes some of us feel like that stone was before I discovered it – discarded and overlooked. We can feel that we’re not much use to anyone, let alone our church, the kingdom or the Lord himself.
Perhaps, despite the fact that we became a new creation in Christ the moment we accepted Jesus as Saviour, some part of our past life – some experience, some hurtful memory – still remains in our thinking. And to us this ‘something’ is a stone that is something scarred and ugly, not precious by any stretch of our imagination. Further we even wrongly think that we don’t fit in anywhere, couldn’t fit in.
Yet it is amazing how, when we hand that ‘stone’ fully over to Jesus, he can lovingly pick us up and cause us to fit exactly into place to complete some ‘wall’ in the body of Christ and help produce something very precious, very meaningful.
The reality is that there is a place, a purpose for all of us in the kingdom of God, even as we are, and no longer is any ugliness seen; only the overall beauty of the Lord’s finished work.
Right now you could easily be the exact ‘piece’ – the key stone that Jesus needs to complete some ‘wall’ … some goal, vision, work. Don’t feel discarded, rejected, unsuitable or ugly! He sees you as very special, very precious and just what he needs!
Jesus understands how you feel when you think you’re discarded. After all, wasn’t he himself at one time treated as such a discarded stone? ‘The workmen took one look and threw it out’ wrote Peter in 1 Peter 2:4 Mge – but went on to declare about Jesus the living stone, the source of life: ‘God set it in the place of honour.’
There’s a place of honour for all of us: whether large or small it’s important that we willingly fit in. Feeling discarded? To Jesus you are just like he was – ‘rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him (and) like living stones are being built into a spiritual house’ (1 Peter 2:4-5).
No wonder verse five in the Message Bible reads as an encouragement to every Christian to ‘Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.’
You too are important in the kingdom, a precious living stone! And so what if you’re a little different from me or anyone else … as long as we can depend on you, you’ll be like a key stone, even a keystone.
Keystones are different from other stones, some not so pretty but vitally important! One dictionary states this about keystones: ‘Something on which associated things depend for support.’
God’s Jeremiah 29:11 promise – ‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out…’ is for all of us! In the church of Jesus and the overall kingdom of God, you too are a key person, a key stone.
Maureen McQuillan, Life Focus Ministries, is a gifted communicator ministering practically and prophetically. Links: www.connectingwithyou.net / firstname.lastname@example.org / Int + 61 411 615 855. Link: http://blog.godreports.com/2014/05/missionary-died-thinking-he-was-a-failure-84-years-later-thriving-churches-found-hidden-in-the-jungle/