Sticks and stones. Three words that are used to denote teasing as a supposedly lighter option to physical harm. But this blog post isn’t about these playground nuances. Instead, this is about God’s purpose for your life and how being called to be as “sticks and stones” gives a more powerful and spiritual meaning.
I say sticks, but the bible says branches. In John 15:5, Jesus speaks to His disciples on the night of the last supper; “I am the vine, ye are the branches he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”
Thus if Jesus is the vine, He is then the life source, from which all sustenance flows and keeps the branches (sticks) alive. And if we have Him as our life provider, then His fruits will be evident in our lives.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.
These are like aspects of God’s character, and how beautiful they all are individually, but even more so – all together.
In Matthew 7, Jesus explains that you cannot receive good fruit from a bad tree, nor bad fruit from a good tree. Therefore, how important it is that we choose the right life source, for our foundations will be shown in our character (our fruits).
"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him."
To be a stone is to be cut from a larger rock. To be carefully hewn out of something larger and greater, inherently imparts the characteristics and features that the original piece possessed. As in Isaiah, he referred to Abraham as the rock of which all the descendants – the Israelite people – were cut from. He pleaded with the people to not forget who their ancestor was, and who he was blessed by, God.
Stones were used in biblical times to build homes, but also altars. Elijah rebuilt the Altar of the Lord using 12 stones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel. Each upholding a life of sacrifice that pointed towards Jesus. Do our lives do the same? Or have we fallen into the same trap that Peter did when he was called a stumbling stone? Placing our own agendas, and our own precepts before God’s will.
As stones cut from the Rock of Ages, we are to live as altars to God. Living a life of sacrifice that just over spills with love that flows from our Heavenly Father.
As newborns, our parents would earnestly study our facial features, seeking any resemblance of their own traits. The same eye colour, shape of ears, dimples, the same nose and eyebrows. Anything that proves their ownership of this child that they have long awaited to meet. As growing children, reflections of behaviour and attitudes start to come through.
And while parents hope that their offspring receive all of their good features and desirable habits, their main priority should be that their children’s character will reflect God’s character. That their fruits will be His, and that they are hewn from His rock.
As sticks and stones, we are called to glow. Not of our own light, but the light that God shines upon our face (Numbers 6:23-27).
Thus in everything we do, and with every inch of our being, we are called to reflect God's love and light to others, as sticks and stones.