I’m reblogging a favorite post from earlier this year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.
I love going to the beach. Many of you do too. There are many reasons we love the beach, we get to squish our toes in the sand, the water is refreshing, the sunshine surrounds us. One feeling I especially love is the warm sunshine touching my face. It lights me up. It’s almost like being kissed by a ray of sunshine.
I know we can enjoy the sunshine in other places too, and I do. Sunshine is a gift from God, and we should enjoy it. The sunshine heightens our mood. It seems to make everything happier, and the day more beautiful.
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
The sun’s rays even affect the beauty of inanimate objects. Light is the presence of all color, so the sunlight makes everything brighter.
Sometimes we can see rays of sunshine. I’ve noticed sun’s rays filtering through tree branches. It’s common to see the sun’s rays jump out from behind clouds. One of the very pleasurable things about a ray of sunshine is how it lights up stained glass windows. The sun shines through these majestic pieces of art and drops color wherever the sunlight falls.
Making stained glass is quite a process. Stained glass starts with glass. Glass is made from some rather dull and ordinary ingredients:
- Soda ash or sodium carbonate – used in detergents and swimming pools
- Lime – a specific type of sedimentary rock containing high levels of calcium or magnesium carbonate.
In other words, dirt is used to make glass.
Do you ever feel like nothing special? Or has something happened that makes you feel like dirt?
These ingredients are melted together at high temperatures until the mixture become a syrupy mass. When this syrup cools, it becomes glass.
That’s how it is with our lives. We feel ordinary, like we are nothing special. We might even feel like dirt. But along comes a major issue, and we’re exposed to enormous heat. When things cool off we find that something beautiful has happened in our lives to change us for the better.
But making glass is just the first step in the process of making stained glass windows. To make stained glass, you need some color. Colored glass is made by adding chemicals into the mix of sand, soda ash, and lime. Particular chemicals create specific colors of glass. Amber or brown glass gets its color from iron sulphide. Iron-chromite creates shades of green; cobalt makes beautiful shades of blue. Nickel will give the glass a violet color and selenium will make red glass.
To add color, we’re adding some more dirt to the mix.
Yes, it seems like when we are going through difficult trials we are subjected to even more agitation. We cry out, “how much more” but that agitation just adds to the beauty in our lives.
When that crisis is over we see something even more beautiful than before. For a time the trials seem to be over, we relax. We enjoy what has happened to us. Maybe we even become a little prideful.
But then a new trial comes our way, bigger than before. We feel broken, like our life has been shattered.
Some stained glass windows are made of broken pieces of glass. An artist arranges those pieces in a beautiful pattern. This process takes time. The artist moves the pieces around until the proper pattern emerges. What was once a pile of rubble is now a beautiful piece of art for all to enjoy.
So often we feel pushed and shoved, like we are being tossed about, but what’s happening is all the pieces are being moved into the proper place, where they create a beautiful work of art.
But the process isn’t done.
The broken pieces of glass don’t stand up by themselves. For a stained glass mosaic to be displayed, grout has to fill in all the little spaces between each piece of glass. Grout is messy, dirty, and muddy.
There are times when it seems like life is that way. We don’t want to get dirty, but we have no choice. But after the grout dries, the mosaic can stand on its own. Everyone can see the beauty created by broken pieces of colored glass.
Some other craftsman actually cut the pieces of glass into specific shapes. The artist has in mind a design. He sees different colors of glass and takes those pieces, cuts them according to his vision, and arranges them artfully. He uses a saw to cut the edges into specific shapes.
It hurts to be cut, trimmed, and shaped. It feels like another trial. But that trial is part of the process to be turned into a work of art.
Eventually, the artisan has each piece cut into the perfect shape. It’s artfully arranged in a design or representation of a person.
But pieces of stained glass do not stand up on its own. Each individual piece is placed in a strong framework.
We need the strong framework of Christ to support our lives.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
The artist then uses solder to attach the pieces together. The solder is very hot.
Sometimes we are in situations that we feel like we are getting burned. We think we are getting closer to our goal, but we seem to be getting burned in the process.
Eventually that trial is over too. We look back at all the storms of life and notice that we are not the same as before these trials began. We’ve been heated, agitated, shaped, cut and burned. But we’ve become something beautiful that lights up even brighter when the light of God shows through us.
October 22, 2013
Scripture is from www.BibleGateway.com
Image is from google images
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