You are a miner. You dig for precious diamonds. You pick and hammer away and as you get closer to the goal the rock gets harder, denser and darker. The workload increases exponentially. So you take a deep breath and swing away, THWACK! And another… THWACK! For hours, again and again, you chip away. When the day is done your hands are calloused and bleeding. Your shoulders ache, and your eyes are filled with dust and tears. Looking at your work you’ve barely made a dent in the obsidian rock that blocks you from your goal. You go home to rest. And before the sun rises you descend back into the mine to toil and ruin yourself searching for that precious gem.
Welcome to the real world. If you are trying to share the Gospel message you will encounter every type of hard obstacle… indifference, amusement, irritation and even hate. They will hate you for the message you bring. Jesus said it would be so. How complicated! Are we just being a pain? We must respect the boundaries that other people set but we must be bold as well. We must toil for them and suffer the rejection and apparent shame.
The meetings over coffee or a meal, the phone calls, the messages and, most importantly, time spent on our knees in intercessory prayer… these are the chores of those mining for souls to come and be made whole again by Christ. So we keep swinging away…maybe for months, maybe for years.
Then suddenly, a glint, a flash of a brilliant reflection… you see it, the hidden gem, the diamond. A renewed vigor arises in you and you go forth, a pick axe in one hand, hammer in the other, double fisted toward the goal. Finally, a Greater Hand swings for you and BOOM! Dynamite! The gem is left bare and open for you. So you lift it out of its resting place and cradle it gently. Here is the place made sacred by His LOVE. Here we must proceed with reverence as it is the innermost temple. Here is the wounded and hardened heart coming back to restoration.
So keep hammering away. Keep toiling for the Kingdom. Great treasures are to be found.
And if you are on the other side, and you hear the picking and sledging coming closer; if your heart hears the work coming towards you… let it come. Let it come quickly.