I stood once in Paris, where the stone is soft and where the building blocks are cut not on the ground, but in their places on the tops of the doors and about the windows.I saw the work going forward on some of the public buildings, where lions, and eagles, and wreaths of flowers were being carved. Men stood with little chisels and mallets, cutting, and cutting, and cutting the stone, here and there.
Suppose one of these blocks of stone, when it first mounts into its place, is told that it is to be a royal lion, and it is to decorate a magnificent structure. The workman commences, and after working one day the head is rudely shaped, but you can barely tell what it is. The next day he brings out one ear. The third day he opens one eye. And so, day after day, some new part is added. The stone complains, and asks if the operation is to be an everlasting one; but the work goes on. And you cannot get anything out of stone except by myriads of blows continued until the work is done.
Why? How long?
I hear people say: "Why am I afflicted?"
For your good.
I hear people say: "How long shall I be afflicted?"
Until you cease to ask how long. Until God's work is done in you.
God will go on chiselling as long as it is necessary, in order to elaborate first one feature and then another, and then another. The work ought to go on until it is completed. And every true heart ought to say: "Lord, do not stay Your hand; cut away until I am brought out into the fair lines and lineaments of the image of God."
Work together for your good
Troubles and afflictions and blows that are sent are useless unless they make you patient to your fellows and submissive to your lot. But rest assured that if you love God all things will work together for your good. And now... join and work with them. Help God to work for you.
Source: biblehub.com /biblical illustrator