Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up? You’re just never going to get it? You’re never going to reach the goal? You’re never going to arrive? Your struggles will never cease? It’s all simply too much; too hard; to challenging. Ever feel like you will die a lonely old man or woman? I admit, lately, at one time or another I’ve felt all these emotions and more.
I am reminded of the story of the refiner’s fire. The story of how silver must be refined in extremely high heat, over and over, to remove all the impurities. When Jesus is working on one’s character, fine tuning one’s personality, developing us to be more of his reflection than our own, it can feel much like I imagine a fiery furnace might feel. It’s very uncomfortable.
When I see some of my impurities, I can’t help but gasp and ask, “Am I truly …?” Or, “Where did that come from!” The question I seem to ask myself most often is, “Sandra, where is your faith girl”? Believe me, it’s ugly! Character building at the hands of the Lord is a good thing and a difficult thing. I am being challenged in my relationships with others; some simply don’t like my personality; I guess. Am I a little more sensitive these days due to circumstances in my life? “I don’t like what is taking place; no, not one bit! Maybe, just maybe this is why the Lord impressed upon me the word prayer for the year. Hmmm, who’d of thunked. It’s going to take a lot of prayer on my part to hang in there and allow The Refiner (Jesus) to do his job and eradicate those impurities and bring about change from within. My heart desires to reflect Jesus more and in all areas. I seriously desire to finish the race, having fought the good fight and not run! (Remember my verse for the year? see link below)
This week I wanted to run! I didn’t want to sit metaphorically at the feet of Jesus, while he held up a mirror and said, “See what I see? It’s time we began digging at some ugly roots.” I could easily become depressed if I don’t keep my focus in the right place; on the right person. Remember the song from childhood…“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. I’m gonna eat some worms… Long thin slimy ones, short fat juicy ones, I’m gonna eat some worms…” I’ve resisted singing this song. I could make my circumstances and my feelings all about me, rather than the work that Christ is doing in my life. But, I’m choosing not to.
Today, I’m choosing to sing a new song the lyrics are from the “Butterfly Song”.
“For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile; you gave me Jesus and you made me your child; and I just thank you Father for making me, me.”
Please be patient; God has not completed his work within me yet.
Until next time,
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
“… we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Hindsight – verse of the year:
The “Butterfly Song” http://www.missionhillsmusic.com/ It is a real cute. I encourage all my readers to purchase and teach to their children, grandchildren, and for you too. It is a very happy song.
Refining Silver Story:
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One lady’s opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But Sir” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver….