I recently read a story of a man who owned a beautiful piece of white marble. His life-long dream was to carve a thing of beauty from it, but alas, it had a flaw that ran through it. If not done correctly, any attempt at carving something from the stone could result in the entire thing crumbling to pieces. And so, the blacksmith kept the marble in a back room where he would visit everyday and envision the different masterpieces he would carve if not for the flaw.
A friend of the blacksmith knew how much this marble meant to him, but he also knew the blacksmith would never be truly satisfied until the marble was made into something. He offered to buy the marble and promised to create a thing of beauty from it. At first, the blacksmith objected, pointing out that the marble had a flaw and could not be worked. After many promises and assurances, the friend persuaded him.
For several weeks, the friend worked on the marble in secret. He would not allow anyone, even the blacksmith, to see the work until it was finished. He spent every spare moment with the marble, choosing a design and working the marble until it conformed to what he pictured.
On the day of the unveiling, the blacksmith was speechless. The friend had carved a statue of a man and woman, regal and strong. People came from miles around and wept at the base of the statue. It's beauty was immense and indescribable, although it didn't keep people from trying to describe it to others. City folk stood in line for hours just to catch a glimpse of the masterpiece.
The blacksmith could not contain his joy. "It's more beautiful than anything I ever imagined," he told his friend. "How did you do it? How did you create this with such a flawed piece of marble?"
The friend smiled and replied, "I knew the marble had a flaw, but instead of allowing that flaw to keep me from carving, I allowed that flaw to dictate the shape and structure of what I would carve. I honestly don't think I would have ever come up with the design if I hadn't had to work around the flaw."
Life has hard times or "flaws." It's up to us whether we allow those flaws to cause us to give up on life altogether or use those flaws to guide us to something better. Some of the best things in life are the results of taking a different course because a "flaw" stood in the way.
Are you facing a flaw in life today? If so, don't be like the blacksmith, begrudging the fact that life is not what you would have it to be and dreaming only of "what ifs". Instead, be like the friend and use those flaws to make your life more beautiful than you have ever imagined. Your life is a masterpiece in the making. Don't allow life's flaws to keep you from becoming everything God intends for you to be.