My friend and mentor, Wess Stafford, told me this story from his childhood . . .

I was a boy growing up in Africa. As a child one of my responsibilities would be to go with the other boys of the village to purchase pots from local merchants. These merchants would frequently set up shop under the outlying mango trees. The heat would be intense and the shade from the mango trees would be much needed. Unfortunately, some of the less scrupulous sellers of wares had another reason for the shade of the mango trees.

I learned very quickly that before making my final purchase I should take my chosen vessel out of the shade and place it directly in the hot sun for several minutes. If wax had been used to conceal cracks in the pot then it would melt and the vessel would be exposed for what it was–useless. If the intense heat had no effect on the vessel then I would make my purchase and carry it home.

Wess then turned to me and asked, “Greg, do you have anything that is ‘wax’ in your life? Anything that when exposed to the heat of life that will melt to expose cracks in your character–cracks that will make you a useless vessel in the hands of God?”

I think about Wess’ question often. I ask God to show me anything that might be wax in my life. I long to be an instrument used by God. Used to build His Kingdom for His glory. I know that heat will come–intense heat. I do not want to discover that I have covered my character cracks with wax that makes me unusable for God’s service.

Any “wax” in your life?