At the beginning of the Lenten season, last year, I made a personal decision to take a semi-sabbatical from many of my social media platforms. This is one of my favorite times of the year to go deeper with the Lord. It was a time of much-needed reflection. I knew that it was a “special time,” for what He was needing to teach me, and it was an important time for me to learn.
I have learned that no matter what our age, or position in life, there will always be hard lessons that we’re going to have to experience. It’s all a part of the process of life, here on Earth, and rather than try to fight it, I willfully receive it in hopes to graduate to these next steps of my spiritual discernment.
There has been what seems to be a bombardment of circumstances in my life, when reflecting on the last several years. It’s often that I’m reminded of the affliction that Paul went through. These thorns in our side can take on a feeling of almost permanency. I know that without mine, I would not be who I am today. Where the affliction does feel like it’s never going to end, we can rest assured that it is never in vain.
God will use all of what we will give Him. He is refining us, as silver is in the fire, through this furnace of affliction. The purpose is always to bring us more near to Him, carefully and wonderfully explained in the story of the “Bell Sheep,” shared in this previous message. Even in these times of uncertainty, He does draw us closer to Him.
A Sustaining Spirit
George MacDonald once shared, “When God is about to make preeminent use of a person, He puts them in the fire.” — I believe this to be true, knowing that He will give us what we need to sustain us through these trials, allowing us this time to learn.
In order to gain more wisdom in the midst of the trial, it is necessary for me to take this time-out to reflect. If it is a conflict with a family member or a disputation with a colleague or friend, I will allow this time to consider their perspective. I am a firm believer in communication.
Communication Is Key
When you take the time you need to communicate, you’re less likely to carry any burden of offense. Many misunderstandings have created these unnecessary ripples in the body of Christ, and as a wave of destruction, the outcome could be devastating. To avoid this, and if you truly want to make peace, with others, you’ll be more willing to invest in the time for it. It’s seeing the bigger picture, versus our own individual perspective.
We must admit when we’re wrong and allow Him to correct us, trusting Him for any type of vindication that may be necessary. This allows for His strong arm to do the vindicating for us. All seasons do come to an end, and this may be His designated time for you, purposed for more growing.
A Season to Harvest?
My heart is for all ministry, and to see a body of people coming together. I pray every day for unity and peace on earth. I pray that my eyes will be forever-open to whatever He wants me to see. Only Jesus can get the credit for this change taking place in me.
Are we allowing the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be revealed in our lives? Are we making a difference for better, in this world, and not for worse? And if we’re finding that the fruit of our lives isn’t healthy, are we willing to plant some different seeds?
This Season Will Change
Many of us are in a season of plowing and replanting. To be more effective, we do sense that there has to be a shift, and/or a change. Seasons do change. With each new day, we’re given this renewed hope for a better tomorrow.
No matter what your furnace of affliction may be, we are one body, fitted perfectly, purposed and divinely equipped to work together. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (see 1 John 2:2).
Let us be patient in this affliction, as we do grow to be more like Him. And let us praise Him, as He does continue to purify us, to be more like gold!