Transformation is an integral thread in the whole Bible. Abram, the childless idol worshiper, was transformed to Abraham, the father to many nations. Jacob, the deceiver, was transformed to Israel, the one who rules with God. The persecutor, Saul, was turned to Apostle Paul, the missionary. A volatile Simon became Peter, the rock. The name Peter comes from root word ‘Petros’ which means ‘rock/stone’. The term, petrified wood, also comes from the root word ‘Petros’.
Petrified wood literally means wood turned to stone. In nature, there is an amazing process by which wood becomes stone. The wood gets buried under a layer of volcanic ash or sediment in a way that it escapes the natural process of aerobic decay. Over thousands of years, ground water flows through the buried wood. The minerals that the water carries starts replacing the organic matter of the wood. Little by little silicates, iron oxides, manganese oxides are deposited into the buried wood till cells of the wood gets replaced with minerals that the water brings it. Cell by cell, year by year, drop by drop the water turns the wood to stone.
This process can be used to illustrate our own process of transformation. When we are buried with Christ under the Grace of God, we, who were meant for quick decay and rotting under the law, gets preserved for the process of transformation. As long as we lay buried and sealed under grace, the decay of sin under law will not set in. Then works the waters of the Holy Spirit, bringing to us the imperishable fruit and gifts of God. Transforming us daily, reaffirming us in our weakest parts with precious minerals, colouring us and drawing us in the image of God. The more we are open to the living water, the more we receive. The Sovereign Lord wills to transform us, yet He limits Himself from enforcing His will. He waits for us to be still under His blanket of grace and awaits our hearts to open up to allow His life to flow through us depositing in our mortal bodies, His eternal glory. How do we open ourselves up to God?
2 Corinthians 3:16, 18 says “whenever a person turns to the Lord, the cover is taken away. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
We are required to position our hearts to God and behold Him in Faith. Through this submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed from glory to glory. From Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham, Simon BarJonah to Simon Peter. The stone is a symbol in the Bible for firm and strong. It also represents truth. The hasty, volatile, shaky, drowning and inconsistent Simon, the disciple of Christ, became Apostle Peter, the martyr for the Gospel, laying himself as a firm and steady stone of truth of the revelation of Jesus as ‘Christ the Son of the living God’. (Mathew 16:16)
1 Peter 2:4 says ‘As you come to Him(Christ), a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up’.
Each of us experience the transforming power of God when we receive Christ in to our hearts. Let us continue to allow the living waters to flow through us, filling us with His life and glory as we grow to be fully mature children in the image of their Father.