Rock Tumblers and Results
…let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:4, ESV
When I was a kid, my Dad bought me a rock tumbler. We would load it up with junky, clunky, worthless rocks, add a little sand, water and flip a switch. Within a few weeks of tumbling and turning, these rocks were transformed. All the rough edges had been smoothed over, all the dark and grimy rocks were, bright and shiny. It was like magic. I likely still have some of those rocks laying in a drawer or buried in box in the attic.
James says.. “let steadfastness have it’s full effect” This is an exhortation to trust and submit to God’s work in through you. Our heavenly father, wants us to the see the full-effect of what these trials are producing.
There were many times, that as a boy, I would tell my Dad, I think the rocks are done tumbling, and he would tell me, you won’t see the full effect if we take them out too soon. Ryan, let’s wait. Trust me.
This is like the voice of our heavenly father, calling us to submit, voluntarily obey, trust, even if this requires doing something that we don’t understand. James will call us to do this more clearly in chapter 4, when he says “Submit to God.”
So here’s the problem. Man doesn’t like to submit to God. Man has a hard time trusting. God says…. You won’t get the full effect unless you trust me.
What does God want. He wants you to see the comprehensive work and result of the trial that you are going through. When James says, “That you may be perfect” This doesn’t mean sinlessness. For later he will say… “We all stumble in many ways” (3:2, cf. I John 1:10). The word then renders better to mean “mature” or being “rounded out”
In the Christian life there are no bypasses through hard times. There are no short-cuts. God says, this all part of the process, part of the plan and he asks us to trust him and submit to him as a son would to his Dad who knows those rocks need to tumble just a little longer if they are to see the full-effect.
1) Do you ever feel like you are in a rock-tumbler?
2) What does it look like to trust and obey Jesus?
3) Why will be happy if we do this?