At the 1 year birthday of my daughter Avonlea we held a little party for her and her friends. It was a strawberry themed party because that’s what my daughter asked (or what her parents thought would be cute). For one of the games, which involved a large bucket of dirt, my wife, Rebecca, painted rocks to look like strawberries for the kids to find – it was a hit.
Before the party a friend was over to help with some of the preparation and she asked, “How’d you find so many rocks that look like strawberries?” And I laughed. And it still makes me laugh. Because none of the rocks looked like strawberries until Rebecca made them look like strawberries.
Similarly, when we’re in heaven, I can envision an angel saying to Jesus, “Where did you find all these holy people, these people that look like You?” And I imagine Jesus would chuckle a little bit, because none of us looked like Him, none. Not one. But God will have made us look just like Jesus.
For what Rebecca did with a little paint, God does as the supreme artist, not just covering but actually changing us from the inside out. Our heart, our mind, our priorities, our desires, our passions our love — turning rocks into real strawberries, sinful humans into righteous, holy, Christ-like saints. And He does so, in concert with us, across the grand journey of our lives.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV