Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chapter Seventeen

Life is wildly unpredictable. We never know what the twists and turns are ahead of us on life’s highway. We cannot control that. What we can control is the manner in how we react to it. Even when we find ourselves in a closet with tears streaming down our face, we can cling to grace and say through the tears, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;” (Job 13:15).

This year has been full of challenges for my husband and me. We are both looking forward to 2016 and what we pray will be healthier days.

I’ve been reading “The Way of St. Francis” by Murray Bodo. At the end of chapter six he proclaims the following:

“Whatever God deigns to give us is pure gift and not something we earn or deserve by becoming that ‘perfect’ person we think we should be. We are who we are, and any perfection, or completion, in us is the work of God responding freely to our honest prayer that God change in us what we previously thought we could only change ourselves.”

Amen to that! I always felt I could not minister because I was so… imperfect, so flawed, so unworthy. As true at this is, Bodo goes on to explain:

“Who we become in God is then God’s work and not our own success in conforming to some ideal. The self we become in true prayer is seldom the self we envisioned, but it is a new and marvelous self that God fashions out of the gradual redeeming of the false self we now acknowledge as the work of our own misguided idealism. We then know God in what God has done in us to enable us to discover our true face. And in that face only do we see the reflection of God as God really is.”

Have you every felt the heat in your life when the fire of God is attempting to purge something from you? I have. It hasn’t been pleasant either. Comparatively, it is similar to the Bureau of Land Management setting a Controlled Burn however, in an instance like this it is God who is in control.

I recall an email that was being circulated years ago that went like this:

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 it 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 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 still further to mention that he only knows when the process of purifying is complete and that is by seeing his own image reflected in the silver.   
~ Author Unknown

Isn’t this a beautiful example? When Christ shall see His own image in His people, His work of purifying will be accomplished.

…and so I pray

Abba, Father - thank You for loving me enough to purge the dross of my life. May I reflect your image to those with whom I come into contact with. In Jesus’ name ~Amen!

When, my friends have you felt the fires of affliction in your life?

Like me, do you argue with God about it or are you more compliant and allow the dross to be purged from your life?


…until next time