Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In Other Words--This is Going to Hurt

“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

~ C.S. Lewis

In my head I realize that many things that are worth achieving involve a level of pain or discomfort.

*That diet plan....requires the discomfort of not eating everything own's heart desires.
*A change of body shape...requires the pain of exercise.
*Even my really lovely auburn hair that I wasn't actually born with....requires the discomfort of sitting in the chair long enough to achieve it and often the pain of chemicals on my sensitive scalp.

You may say, those things are so trivial, so how about these?
* That great new job offer.....requires the pain of saying good bye in one location and the discomfort of making new friends somewhere else.
* Molding children's behavior to enable them to be independent young people...requires the pain of appropriate boundaries, consistently implemented.
* Living within the means of one salary so a parent can stay home...requires the discomfort of giving up "luxuries".

Growth and change involves some level of pain. I accept that in almost every area of my life. But my spiritual life...no so much. Somehow I still get it in my head that God will just "snap his fingers" and I will live the life he has destined for me in total bliss. Where does that thought come from? It certainly does not arrive from Scripture. In fact, Scripture tells me to expect pain and trouble!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all
Psalm 34:19

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The closer and longer I walk with God, the more I understand the essence of this quote. I have a strong foundation of faith that tells me that God wants the best for me. I believe. I quote it. I attempt to live in the promise.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

But I also have a stronger understanding that those promises are achieved through the painful refinement of my character. He makes me the person I need to be, not with a snap of his fingers but in the deliberate sanding away of rough character edges and the watchful firing of the refiners fire. I know that he will accomplish his best by getting rid of the things that reflect my worst. And that process is frequently painful.

But, so much of what is worth achieving is worth the pain. Refinement by the father is definitely worth the pain or discomfort. The results are for eternity.

Father, help me to see the pain of refinement as part of your best for me. Forgive my impatience when I want it accomplished quickly and painlessly. Allow me to see your hand and your comfort in those moments. Amen.

Join Jennifer at Scraps and Snippets for her take on this awesome quote and links to others who are participating.


Denise said...

Awesome post.

Jennifer said...

So true that so often we do expect a trouble-free life, despite Scripture's admonitions to expect trials and troubles. But so true about the Refinement being worth it! Thank you for participating today!

Denise Hughes said...

"I know that he will accomplish his best by getting rid of the things that reflect my worst."

This is beautifully put. The process of refinement is, of course, painful. But what you have said is so encouraging. We are on a journey to reflect God's glory more and more, and in order to do this may mean some refinement along the way. Thank you for sharing today.

Denise Hughes :)

Debbie said...

Oh, I love how you wrote: "But I also have a stronger understanding that those promises are achieved through the painful refinement of my character." Well said and yet, it can be painful. Thank you for this timely reminder.

Kristin said...

Fabulous post MiPa!

Tami Boesiger said...

May God give us the courage to grow in Him. Love your sincere writing, friend.