Ever used a dull steak knife and had to hack and tear your way thru that rib eye? Ever tried to use a pair of scissors that lost its sharp edge a long time ago? Ineffective at best, and can actually damage what you are trying to do. A device due for a date with a whetstone can frustrate the be-jeebers out of you.
Andy’s grandad knew that a good rough whetstone applied to a dull blade makes a sharp usable blade. But he also knew there was an art to using that whetstone. Meaning, patience while applying that stone at the correct angle to the blade. No untrained dude can haphazardly run the blade along that whetstone and expect a perfectly sharpened edge. An ignorant whetstone user can actually do more damage than good.
How does a whetstone work? The rough and gritty surface applied over and over to a blade grinds away the pocks and imperfections on the edge of that blade – eventually producing a sharp edge that is useful. But did I mention it takes time and repeated effort? “Quick and easy going” doesn’t cut it when using a whetstone. (Oh yeah, pun definitely intended.) And having to use patience? A razor-like edge can only be accomplished by sharpening both sides of the blade. Yep, ya gotta turn around and do to the other side what you just did to the first side. Like I said…patience.
Now, use your imagination with me.
Who is the dull blade that is placed in the hands of a Master Whetstoner, the one who works patiently to make it useful and sharp? You and me, of course. (Surely, we are not so dull as to not recognize that fact.) And Who is the one holding His badly pocked blade in one hand and the whetstone in the other? Our Creator and our God. And the whetstone that scrapes away at that dull blade until it is sharp and effective in His hand? Life.
Daily living with its problems and heartaches has a way of changing us. But problems surface when we feel those changes and can start to believe we have learned all there is and now we are sharp and useful. Seeing ourselves as God’s gift to the world. Until God turns us around and starts in on the other side! Fun…not so much. Needed…absolutely. Inevitable…as sure as the earth spinning on its axis. Time-consuming…as long as we live on this earth.
Lessons from the whetstone… You are not perfect. But you are in the hands of the Perfect One who is applying life to make you usable, for His purposes. He is patient and skillful at what He is doing. It hurts sometimes. And it’s going to take your entire life. Because the Master Whetstoner never gives up.
He sees you as you are. But at the same time, He already sees you after His whetstone has been skillfully applied.