“Be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”
-Jesus (Matthew 10:16b)
About 150 years ago, a man in Paris was experimenting with a new kind of glass and produced the first version of tempered glass.
The key to creating tempered glass is to heat it to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and then, during that time when it’s super-hot, mold it in its final shape.
What’s interesting is the state of the final product. Normal glass has virtually no internal stress. It’s at ease.
But tempered glass is different. Not only has it been through a grueling process, but once it’s cooled, it’s under a perpetual tension.
And it is this tension that causes it to be mostly harmless when it breaks (unlike regular glass which breaks into dangerous shards).
Tempered glass is a lot like our own spiritual growth.
Sometimes God allows rough things to happen to us, because he’s in the process of creating something that’s going to be stronger. And when things break—sometimes we break—we don’t shatter into a mess and hurt those we love.