Saturday, October 11, 2008
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24
Ever since I surrendered my heart to God, I’ve been focused on living in His reflection. I seem to look at everything with different eyes. I seem to hear things with different ears. I’ve also become very mindful of my actions, my words, even my thoughts. The more time I spend in the Word of God, the more I find myself harbored in its pages, absorbing the comfort of His promises.
It is said that this life can take us from deserts, to valleys, to the foot of the mountain, to the top of the mountain, and then back down into the desert. Lately, I think I’ve traveled through each area; however, when I get to the foot of the mountain…I have difficulty getting to the top. In the midst of climbing, it seems as if I keep grabbing the loose rocks that cause me to slip and sometimes anxious thoughts of falling are revealed.
I researched “rock-climbing” to see if there was an appropriate term for the parts of the rock that you’re suppose to grab in order to pull yourself up. Well, I got sidetracked when I read that it is wise for rock climbers to climb in pairs to utilize a safety system. This is how it works: one person will keep climbing while the other person “belays” (manages and controls the safety rope attached to the climber so that if the climber were to fall, he/she wouldn’t fall very far.)
I know you can see where I’m going with this, but hold on a second….it gets better. I also learned that rock climbing is a sport that tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, balance, and the climber’s mental control. So… that got me to thinking. Well, if I’m the climber striving to reach the summit, and the Lord is my partner who is belaying, then why is it that can’t I seem to make it up the mountain? Then I remembered what the Lord spoke over my heart a few nights ago.
I must tell you that I look forward to praying right before I go to sleep. I have different prayers each night, but there is always one request that never changes. I’m always praying for God to search my heart, to refine me and remove all my impurities that don’t allow His reflection to show through. I think an objective for all Believers is to be able to reveal the image of Christ, and it is a constant request I make each night.
Well, a couple of nights ago, I had a heart to heart with God while I was praying. I broke down and questioned God’s motives for my circumstances. I just had to tell Him where I stood over a certain situation and that I couldn’t help but wonder why things revolving around this situation kept crumbling. I just didn’t understand. I pleaded for Him to either deliver me from the situation or hold me up, because I was becoming discouraged in what to do next.
After a moment of being still, the Lord spoke very clear to my heart. He told me that He was fulfilling my request and pulling to surface the ungodly ways of my heart. Then it was as if He was questioning me, “Miranda, why do you ask for me to refine you… then ask me to deliver you from the process of refinement? Do you not trust that that this momentary affliction is preparing for you an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison? (2 Cor 4:17) Once the dross is removed from the silver, does the silversmith not have material for a vessel? (Proverb 25:4) Can I just tell you that I really didn't like it when the Lord questioned me....it was very convicting. I wanted to do to Him what I do to my Mama when I cause her to question me. I wanted to hug His neck, sit in His lap and say I'm sorry a million times.
He then reminded me that in order for dross to be removed from silver, the refiner must first place the silver over the fire so that it may be melted down. Then when the silver is no longer in an unyielding state, the dross or the impurities will rise to the surface. The refiner can then burn away the dross, which leaves the silver pure and allows the image of the refiner to reflect from it.
Wow... The Lord sure knows how to stand you upright, doesn't He? So just like the goal for the sport of rock climbing, my challenges in the climb are there to test my strength, endurance, agility, balance, and faith. Then when those anxious thoughts, offensive ways, and areas of sin in my life rise to the surface and cause me to lose balance… that gives God the opportunity to burn them away, so that He may mold me into the vessel He wants me to be and I may be led in the way everlasting.
But if the climb becomes long and difficult to endure, God is so gracious to have sent us His Son to be our partner who belays while we climb up the mountain. As long as we put all of our trust in Him and let Him control the rope that attaches us together, we can climb without ceasing…..even when it’s hard and even when the loose rocks we grab cause us to slip, we can persist with faith…because His Word tells us that the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20), and He is the One who Saves us from falling. Praise Him...for He is Good.