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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thick Skin and Shattered Glass

Last week I was cleaning out the refrigerator.  My husband came in while I was getting everything out and started washing the shelves for me. (Wow, that was so nice!!!)  As we were talking and working, Joe was holding one of the glass shelves. It shattered in his hand, into what must have been thousands of pieces!

We were shocked! He hadn't done anything to cause the glass to shake. The temperature of the water wasn't too extreme. The temperature of the air wasn't too extreme.  He wasn't putting any pressure on it at all. He was just holding it and it basically blew up!  We began the clean-up process.

As we were cleaning up the pieces, I thought about the differences in shattered glass. What makes some glass shatter more than others? Why was this one in thousands (it seemed) of pieces? I also thought about how our lives are like that glass. Something comes along in our lives and it may "shatter" us into many pieces, but then other things may come along and seem they would be just as hurtful to us, but we're not shattered to the same extent. What makes the difference? In glass, the thickness of it seems to make the biggest difference. So, is it the thickness of our skin that makes the difference in our lives?

I used to have a boss that thought it was fun to make me cry. I would cry very, very easily. He would tell me I was thin-skinned and he actually delighted in that fact! Another co-worker would say the same thing.  And I think they were right - that I was thin-skinned. I hadn't ever had anyone treat me that way, and I sure wasn't used to it, but, as I got older and matured, those types of things didn't bother me any more. I became more "thick-skinned" and learned to control my response towards others and towards certain situations.  I still wouldn't want to be around someone who took delight in hurting me, but perhaps the thick skin wouldn't allow me to be hurt quiet as easily.

Maybe having thick skin does help when our world is shattered, but I believe it has more to do with our faith. The "thickness" or "deepness" of our faith in God will help us when everything seems like it is falling apart. God will get us through those rough, broken times if we will put our faith - our total faith - in Him.

Take a moment to reflect on this comforting passage:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4

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