Musing on “The Pounding”
I received a profound insight regarding what I call “the pounding” a while back.
A little background first:
My wife is a metal worker and designer of Jewelry, she explained the process of forming metal please consider this:
The jeweler uses four elements for the work of shaping metal.
1. The anvil
2. The stake
3. The hammer
4. The metal that is to be formed generally gold or silver.
The anvil is a flat shape or fixed surface against which the metal is shaped.
The stake is a shape or form made of steel that will not change its shape, metal can be formed against it.
The hammer is the tool of the forming, they are of many different sizes and weights.
The metal is formed with the application of blows of the hammer. The metal is shaped with each blow of the hammer against the stake or the anvil.
The purpose in the process is a new creation formed by turnings and hammering against fixed forms the stake or the anvil:
I marveled with the recent understanding that God has a purposed an image for us, he is forming us against the truth, the likeness of Messiah/Christ (Messiah= The stake an immovable fixed form of incredible perfection). We are being formed into a unique never seen before, never to be seen again, piece of jewelry or perhaps a vessel. God allows us to be hammered in this life; it is a process of forming. Perhaps not his perfect will but effective none the less.
The image of Messiah/ Christ’s perfection, the truth, does not move. It is we that are formed against as we encounter the poundings of life on this fallen planet.
The Master purposes that the blows of life will form us into a unique and beautiful representation of aspects of the character that is the perfection of Christ; the truth; the stake. Our character is formed as we choose to allow his character to be shaped in us, as we learn to respond to the poundings of life with his; love, grace, truth, kindness, patience, self-control, understanding etc.
Our adversary the enemy (Satan) hates Christ and his image revealed through us. He desires that the poundings will distort that perfection of Christ’s image from being revealed in or through us. He would prefer we reflect his image. The Adversary purposes a flat, dead, hard, lifeless form like himself to be created. He tempts us to respond to the poundings of life with; anger, revenge, a mean spirit, self-defense, bitterness,self- indulgence, vanity, pride, self defense, etc.
He is however just another image made by the creator, but one that rebelled against the creator through selfish wilfulness. He is deformed from the creators original intention and now has become an ugly, hard, dead, a stone like, self serving, defensive, brutal thing.
Yet it is the Master who is working; all are his tools. He turns us agin and agin with his hand as he allows the blows of the hammer to form us. He sees our reactions, he knows our hearts. We as the metal are shaped by the blows of the hammer against the form of the anvil (Satan/dysfunctional man) or Christ (perfected man=the stake). The metal is pliant or not based on its unique nature. It can resist and be brittle and hard or be receptive and pliant. Yet it is the master who turns the metal, understands its nature, he alone allows the application and force of the hammer; he chooses whither it is the anvil or the stake upon which the metal is pounded.
Eventually through the poundings our character grows solid in Christ. Low and behold the image is formed into the intended shape and we are what we were planned to be; a unique vessel reflecting many aspects of the image of Christ, unique to us and his will and purpose for our lives.
He shapes us into the shape of his desire. A glorious thing of usefulness, real integrity and beauty. A jewel in His Crown or a vessel to contain nothing but this; the wine of the creator; his bliss!
This is not a perfect nor entirely complete picture or analogy but it helps sometimes during the poundings.
Does this visual relate to your experience?
Does it help you understand more of how you have been formed?
What are your strengths or weaknesses and how could you balance them?