Last Thursday, in The Salt Mines, Part 2, we saw that we have a part to play in the “mining” of our hearts. We need to be willing to let God do His perfect work, and we need to be on the watch, and when we see that “briny water” beginning to seep in, we need to resist it. We need to get out the water pumps of God’s Spirit, ever standing firm in our faith that God will prevail.
As was mentioned in the previous two parts of this series, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is now closed to mining; but besides hosting thousands of tourists on a daily basis, there is still plenty of activity in the mines. Below the surface of Wieliczka, Poland, artists continue to carve the mine’s interior, bringing forth beauty under the surface of the Earth. Many of the carvings we saw on the tour were quite old, but there were others that were new. For example, one of the four chapels that we had the privilege of visiting has just been opened!
Herein lies the last lesson to be learned from the Wieliczka Salt Mines: God does not stop working in our hearts when we become Christians. In fact, that is when it all begins. He continues to form our hearts as long as we allow it to happen, ever working to create something even more beautiful in His eyes.
This concept is found throughout scripture. 2 Peter 3:18 commands us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. This process is known as “spiritual growth” or “growing in faith”. Peter suggests that we must grow our faith by feeding it, and that initially we feed it with “spiritual milk”: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”. (1 Peter 2:2-3)
As we grow in the Lord, we begin to need more solid food, not just “spiritual milk”: “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).
Unfortunately, as the writer of Hebrews proposes, most of us don’t want “solid food”, we would rather subsist on milk. Paul suggests the same thing: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ, fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh…” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
How can we encourage God’s Spirit to continue to “mine” our hearts? How can we ensure that our heart-temples continuously bring forth new things of great beauty?
By following Peter’s advice, to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Remember that those works of art don’t just “appear” in the depth of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, rather they are carved there. Everyone, no matter how much artistic talent you have (or lack!) can have this beauty “carved” in our hearts by simply growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ!
Didn’t Jesus say, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51)?
But how can we “eat” of the “Bread of Life”, Jesus Christ? Try this verse from the Old Testament: “I will give you leaders who will be faithful to me. They will lead you with knowledge and insight.” (Jeremiah 3:15). In other words, when we let God into our hearts, when we feed our heart-temples with Heavenly knowledge and insight, we are partaking of the “Bread of Life”.
I would encourage each of you that the way to ensure that things of beauty are continuously being carved in your heart temples is to spend time with God. Allow Him to open your hearts. Get into His Word. Pray and ask His Spirit to allow this “two-edged sword” to pierce “even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow…” and to discern “the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (See Hebrews 4:12). For when you do, new and beautiful things will be carved in the temples of your heart and your lives will never be the same.
This is the last lesson from “The Salt Mine” mini-series. If you have missed any of the previous lessons, you may access the entire series by clicking here; or email me and I will be happy to send you the past lessons.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
**All information about the Wieliczka Salt mine comes from personal tour and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine
(To access the entire “Salt Mine” mini-series, please click here.)