“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22)
“Slowly, through all the universe, that temple of God is being built. Whenever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire of God’s likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. When, in your hand fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible temptation, you catch the purpose of your being, and give yourself to God, and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life, a living stone, is taken up and set into that growing wall. Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways; – there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. Oh, if the stone can only have some vision of the temple of which it is to be a part forever, what patience must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.”
(Phillip Brooks, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 158)
I loved the imagery of this particular quote. Stone after stone, being placed upon the wall of His divine purpose. Our lives make up the stones. Each part, each detail, small and great, is a stone. Our dreams. Our hopes. Our Goals. The desires He’s placed in our hearts. The ministries He’s given us to do. Our daily chores. Our work place. Relationships. Authorities. Talents and abilities. Our home life. Even our very hindrances, are all “stones”. Things that make up our life as we know it, and the people that shape who we are and what we do.
Each stone must be surrendered to His purpose. For we are His temple. We are the workmanship of His hands. He is the builder.
1Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
And Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
He is hewing out pillars for His temple. Building up walls for His glory. He has a finishing plan and purpose.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
He is the author and the finisher. Sometimes, the process looks odd. Sometimes it looks ugly. It feels humbling. We compare our temple project to those around us. We question why He might place a stone here, or remove another one there. Sometimes the stones He chooses, aren’t the ones we would choose for ourselves. It feels rough on the outside. But He sees the finished product. Take heart, dear soul, and trust the Master at His work. He knows what He is doing.
When our plans are foiled, when disappointments arise- He is building His temple.
When heartaches encamp us and sorrows descend- He is building His temple.
When hindrances hold us captive, when our prayers seem unanswered- He is still building His temple.
And when doors are opened, when opportunities arise- He is building His temple.
When blessings surround us, and sweet joys flood within- He is yet building His temple.
When prayers are answered, when our desires and hopes He chooses to fulfill- He is building His temple.
He is the Corner Stone. And He knows just how to build our lives exactly fit for His glory and His Divine Purpose. We can trust Jesus, with what we do not understand. He sees the finished project. We don’t. But to get a glimpse of what He is doing! To trust that it is good! That is sweetest rest. That is glory.