If you have ever used sandpaper, you know that it is used to smooth out the rough edges. Today at art school, we were given the sculptures we have made thus far, and pieces of sandpaper, so we could sand out the bumps. As I sanded away, I would think it was smooth, only to notice another bump or crack that needed smoothed out.
And I was reminded once again of the ways in which God allows difficult circumstances in our own lives to smooth out the rough edges. To get rid of the unnecessary junk in our lives.
He does this in numerous ways for each person. For me, the past month and a half as we have settled back into life here has been a sanding process. As the Father has had to strip away the preconceived notions I had about how life should be.
This week in particular, He has used one problem after another (no water, no internet, no computer) to chip away at the junk in my heart. And with each thing, he has revealed the gunk within me.
I’ve found myself acting much like the Israelites saying, “If only we’d stayed in Egypt.” I’ve found myself grumbling and complaining. And as I was reminded in Scripture, my complains are not just away of letting off steam, they are complaints against God.
Oh, we may not direct our complaints to the Lord, but the truth is, when we complains, we basically are saying, we don’t trust Him, we are asking where He is, and reminding Him we don’t deserve these issues.
I’m afraid the molding, shaping, and sanding process are part of the Christian life. For God’s ultimate purpose is to bring us into the image of His Son. And He will do whatever it takes to chip away the junk, smooth out the edges, and take what appears disfigured, cracked, or broken, and make it into something beautiful!
After an hour and a half of sanding, my little vase and bowl, looked pretty nice for my first sculpting efforts. Yet, if you could have seen the piles of dust I had to sand off to get them to that point, you’d be amazed.
The same is true with us. God allows difficulties, He uses problems, people, sickness etc to reveal the junk with in. So He can sand off the rough edges in our lives. In order that, we might better bear the image of His Son, and shine the light of His glory.
Oh, it can be painful, it can be frustrating… and it is often humbling. But only when we go through this process, can we grow to become more like the One who left all of Heaven to become a servant unto death.
Where are you today? Is God chipping away at junk in your life, like He has been in mine? Is He allowing difficulties to reveal the problems within. Take courage my friend, though the process is difficult, the result is worth it. Lean into Him, confess your need of Him, and allow Him to smooth out the rough edges, so you may bear fruit that last.