It’s Not Easy. At All.
“He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; finally, he brought us to this well-watered place.” (Psalm 66:10 MSG)
Umm – that’s HARD. God refining us is HARD. It HURTS. It’s NOT EASY. AT ALL. Honesty knowing that, it can be easy to resist or ignore what God wants or need to do. I admit, I’m in the middle of a refining process and it’s not over yet…there’s still a way to go I have a feeling. It’s not comfortable to say the least. I’m ready for it to be over but I guess God isn’t done yet.
I’m learning that I need to ask myself questions, and it’s taken this stubborn girl a while to realize I need to. I’m learning it’s healthy and essential. David wrote in a psalm, “He trains us”, and often when being taught, it’s important to ask questions.
When I was in school or even in a group Bible study as an adult, I’ve often found myself just listening. Sometimes I had a question but for some reason had an expectation (ahem or hope) for the person teaching to answer my question without me having to ask it out loud. I think that goes with my relationship with God, too. I ask to hear His Voice, but I don’t seem to ask Him SPECIFIC questions like: Will you open my eyes to see spiritual beyond the physical trials I’m in? What are you trying to improve in me? What do I need to change? How can I possibly make the changes while in refinement? Will you please give me wisdom and discernment…and the ability to do what you want me to? And then, really listen. Be still and listen.
And it’s not to say that if I ask questions they’ll be answered immediately, because the next step is to go through the furnace, hardscrabble country, extreme limits and maybe even to hell and back before I get the “well-watered place”. The place where I’ve been molded more into the person God has created me to be. Where roots are deep. It’s a place I want to be and maybe you do too.
God, You are there WITH us as we’re being refined in the furnace, just like You stood in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You’re not just looking from the outside but You’re beside us, never leaving us. Thank you for that reminder that even though life can seem SO HARD sometimes, we’re not alone because You’re with us. Even though refining can hurt, it’s to make us more like Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Have you ever felt like you’ve been “pushed to the limit?” If so, how did you get through that circumstance?