The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. ~Psalm 51:17
This afternoon, after a busy weekend at church, I decided to put on my workin' clothes so I could help Jerry finish the immense project that our front porch has become. I had a heat gun in one hand, a scraping tool in the other. I sat for a couple of hours on the porch in silence, working diligently as I attempted to break through the layers of paint that had accumulated over time.
As I sat and watched the paint bubble and melt as it was scraped away, layer after layer, all the paint began to pull away from the wall and soften as it was helped along. Soon, there was very little there but the bare wood. All it will need after this process is some thorough sanding and a fresh coat of white paint before it looks brand new again.
Interestingly, as I worked, God used the quiet of these hours to give me a vivid picture. I imagined my soul going through the same process. God is just like that, and sometimes He needs to walk us through refining seasons in our lives. He's always at work, peeling back layer after layer. The process is never easy, always painful, and very, very humbling. But we need it. It's necessary for Him to scrape away and sand the rough parts so that we might be soft before him, ready to be renewed again.
As my heart lay bare before Him today, I listened as He revealed my rough spots. The places that need softening. The areas that need to change. The people in my life who most need for my sharp edges to go away. Most importantly, He reminded me that I cannot do it alone.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar spot. Perhaps God is refining you by taking you through the fire. Like me, you may be in a season that finds you clinging to the hand of God more than ever.
Rest assured: God uses these seasons in a big way for good. Do not lose heart. Do not be dismayed. Your God surely walks with you, and He will be faithful each and every step of the way.