This week’s chapter in The Story talks about the final few years of Paul’s life. Basically, it shows how he ended strong. He endured beatings and mocking, prison and a shipwreck, and so many other things. In one of those times, when he was locked away in Rome under house arrest, he used his time to write to believers throughout the world. Surprisingly, his letters weren’t all woe-is-me, but were about how to have joy in the moment God has placed you. Randy Frazee asks, “How could anyone in jail write from such a positive perspective? Paul could, because he had been chiseled to look like Christ Jesus.”
Though I am a complete novice, I have done some wood-working and I know that when I chisel something, I have to remove pieces from the object that are unneeded or in the way with what my final goal is. When we become Christians, we submit our lives to God, saying “God, make me into the person that you want me to be.” When He begins to chisel away at some of the rough or problem areas in our lives, it hurts. When we start to look more like Jesus, it can get uncomfortable. In a SkitGuys skit called “God’s Masterpiece,” they say it this way:
God had worked in Paul’s life, chiseling him to look more like Christ so that when hard times came, he would be able to stand strong knowing that God would work it out for His glory. For Paul, his anchor was firmly secured on the Rock of his salvation, the Messiah Jesus Christ. “In Christ, our circumstances do not dictate our joy; our relationship with and hope in Christ do. In fact, it is often how we live when our circumstances are at their worst that either attracts or repels others” (Randy Frazee). Paul’s example spurs us on to fully realize that as God continues to chisel us and guide us, we can rest firmly in Him, knowing that in every high and stormy gale, our anchor holds within the veil.
If you would like to see the whole skit, it can be found here.