Sunday, November 16, 2008

Being Refined.

Since I am partly procrastinating and partly really wanting to write, here I am! Be proud, since I'm not waiting a month in between posts.

God has a way of repeating Himself that's really hard to miss - even for a hard-of-hearing (spiritually speaking here, not literally - even though it's true!) gal who is very obtuse. And recently He's been teaching me many lessons. In fact, He's been teaching me so much that I've had to ask Him for some time to make sure I'm fully understanding and applying the truths He's showing me. It's very humbling to ask such a thing, since it shows how much I struggle with actually applying what I'm learning, rather than just writing it down somewhere and promptly forgetting it.

Since it's the season of Thanksgiving (and North Carolina has finally accepted the fact that fall is HERE and winter to follow), it's appropriate to ponder for what one is truly grateful. I had a cool conversation with a friend of mine last night where we took turns and asked the other any question we wanted and we had to answer. Many of the questions were just silly and superficial (which equals fun!), but then we had a couple that really made me think more about it.

We asked what we regretted most in our lives, and then we talked about what experiences or times that we would never change. Interestingly, I found that many of the experiences I've had in my life were in both categories. Those experiences where I found myself making a foolish or dangerous decision that had caused me and others pain... of course I regret those decisions. At the same time, I wouldn't change what happened because through that pain something good came out of it. Sounds familiar, right?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)

It's so awesome to see the Word alive in one's life, isn't it? Makes me smile with gratefulness.

So, even though such times have brought me some sort of pain, my heart is truly thankful for that season of fire. God is always at work in our lives; bringing us through the purification process for His glory. And now, as I go through another time of struggle and pain, I'm joyful. I've never been this joyful of going through a struggle. Usually, I want to run away and hide until it passes. God knows I look forward to seeing the fruit of His transformation in my life. And He knows how much I desire to want to yearn and chase after Him... to understand His Word... to obey Him... to see His work for me made complete through Him.

What an adventure! I'm excited. I've been excited for the past month as I've gone through this. Each day brings new challenges, but also new answers. Every morning I wake up, I know for certain that He is still with me.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18

I have to be honest here. I see what He's showing me, I hear what He's speaking through His Word, and I understand that He's growing and purifying me. What love! I'm overwhelmed as I think about this. That He should care for a sinner such as me... and actually desire that I grow in knowledge of Him - whoa! My human self feels completely unworthy of what He's doing in my life, yet my spirit basks in His glory and wants to soak up everything of Him.

I stand amazed in the glory of His presence.


Red Rover said...

Obtuse - I love that word!!
Seriously, it is wonderful when we can rejoice in the trials that come our be able to rely on God so completely when trials come that joy colors the whole experience is something to desire and enjoy.

Nicole said...

very encouraging entry :)

Daniel's Mom said...

This was a greta post! I love to see God work in your life! I'm so glad you are allowing Him,Stef!

Daniel's Mom said...

You have an award waiting for you at my blog!