Hebrews 12:5,6 - Refining Trials

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart
when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he
punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Heb 12:5,6 (NIV)

Pebble Beach, on the California coast, has become quite famous for the
beautiful pebbles found there. The raging white surf continually roars,
thundering and pounding against the rocks on the shore. These stones are
trapped in the arms of the merciless waves. They are tossed, rolled, rubbed
together, and ground against the sharp edges of the cliffs. Both day and
night, this process of grinding continues relentlessly. And what is the
Tourists from around the world flock there to collect the beautiful round
stones. They display them in cabinets and use them to decorate their homes.
Yet a little farther up the coast, just around the point of the cliff, is a
quiet cove. Protected from the face of the ocean, sheltered from the storms,
and always in the sun, the sands are covered with an abundance of pebbles
never sought by the travelers.
So why have these stones been left untouched through all the years? Simply
because they have escaped all the turmoil and the grinding of the waves. The
quietness and peace have left them as they have always been - rough,
unpolished, and devoid of beauty - for polish is the result of difficulties.
Since God knows what niche we are to fill, let us trust Him to shape us to
it. And since He knows what work we are to do, let us trust Him to grind us
so we will be properly prepared.
O blows that strike! O hurts that pierce This fainting heart of mine!
What are you but the Master's tools Forming a work Divine?
Nearly all of God's jewels are crystallized tears. [Streams in the Desert by