So, when God goes to work, He goes to work. It seems like if you ask Him to transform you, you really don’t need to ask twice. It has been a long couple of weeks for both Kirk and I as we are finding ourselves being refined. We really want to be prepared if the Lord places us in this position of ministry, and it seems like He is taking a no-holds-barred approach.
It has been kind of amazing to see the areas the Lord has begun to work in, areas I have never seen before. It’s embarrassing, actually. I think, oh wow! How long have I had such sin? For example, to be perfectly honest, I am a bit of a party pooper. A lot of events just don’t feel worth the effort. As I was talking about that the other day, someone nearby commented, “you sound like an old woman!” Oh my…. that bad, huh? There is nothing wrong with weighing out effort vs enjoyment, but straight up complaining about going to see fireworks? Attitude change time…and that is just one tiny example of my correction. It may not seem like much, but it is uncomfortable. Multiple layers of uncomfortable = bad attitude = another need for attitude change – it is constant prayer, constant evaluation, constant apologizing when I’m wrong, then getting up, and trying again.A friend of mine just had major surgery on his knee – he was saying how it left a huge scar, but that it had been hurting for a while and he was so relieved that soon it wouldn’t anymore. Kirk had a similar surgery when he was younger, and it made me think about the scar on his knee, and how much smaller it is now. It’s amazing, really. God sees areas in our life that need work. It hurts to have the work done, and it leaves a nasty scar, but over time, the scar and pain fade, leaving us only with the healing, the change. What a beautiful thing. Proverbs 3:11 says:
“Do not reject the discipline of the Lord or hate His correction, for whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects a son in whom He delights. “
I have been clinging to this verse, knowing that the Lord delights in a spirit that is teachable. And these up close and personal encounters with my sin are keeping me motivated, too. I have recently begun working in our high school ministry, and in the students I see so much of myself when I was younger. Oh, the pride! The self-centeredness! I am so ashamed, seeing my sin reflected back at me. But I am glad that even now, years later, I can begin correcting those flaws, allowing the Lord to renew me. Another verse that has been close to my heart is 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
What a good work we have before us! And I want to be equipped for all of the trials that will come with it. But for now, I have to focus on just being adequate, which is work in itself. Just trying to learn the basics: having a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiving each one as I was forgiven, and putting on love. (Colossians 3:12-14) Please extend grace to us as we learn, and pray for perseverance, for wisdom, for teachable spirits, for humility in knowing our sinfulness, and grateful hearts as we thank the Lord for redeeming us, just as we are.