I was out running this morning and saw a strange sight. As I was running up a really steep hill in our neighborhood there was a perfectly round bead on the road. It looked like a pearl shining there in the sun contrasted with the asphalt.
That wouldn’t normally be a strange thing but it got my attention. It got my attention because perfectly round beads don’t tend to come to rest half way up a steep hill in the road. When it rolls down the hill something has to give it enough friction to come to a stop. But smooth road and smooth bead don’t have much friction so you would expect to find the bead at the bottom of the hill, not half way down.
Something had to be imperfect for the bead to sit there. The road had to have a slight imperfection in it to allow a smooth bead to come to rest, the bead had to have an imperfection, or both. Or maybe somebody sat it there and hid in the bushes just to mess with my head. You always have to consider the “z factors” like that!
As I ran on, it got me thinking about the imperfections in our lives and how those are things that can actually keep us from greater harm. Imperfections caused by friction that “down the road” help us from slipping, sliding or rolling further down the hill. Hurt caused by a friend may teach us something to avoid greater harm later. That friction is just enough to keep us from rolling all the way down the hill. Losing a job and the hurt that causes might motivate someone to get serious about things and do the next job with greater passion and energy. You get the idea.
As much as we hate hurt, it can help us. That imperfection can cause just enough friction in our lives to keep something worse from happening. Some hurts are more of a blessing than we know.
None of us are perfectly smooth and neither is the road. That combination can help us in ways we may never know but trust God is using for our good.
I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:7-12,
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
What imperfections have you found blessing in, in your life?