The Refining Process

I know, I know. You didn’t ask for THIS, but you did ask to be a version of yourself that is not yet you. You asked to be stronger, braver, wiser, a steward of The Kingdom. You asked God to use you, to see you, to build you into someone worth using. You just thought the process of becoming this would look a lot more refined and beautiful.

Building strength never looks pretty. If you need to be reminded of this watch someone on their first day of training for a marathon; it’s full of stitches in your side, shin splints, a lot of painful breathing and sweat, lots of sweat. Nothing beautiful about it. Even on race day you will see trained athletes torque their faces in pain as they complete that last stretch. Not beautiful, but necessary.

We all want to be the ones who usher in The Kingdom, those with testimonies worth telling, filled with wisdom to disciple those around us. The truth of it is we know nothing about anything until we’ve been through something. You’re going through something so that you have something to share, something to offer the person following behind you.

This trial is giving you the ability to empathize, the grace needed to tolerate another’s brokenness, and it is broadening your capacity to love. These are the things you’ve asked for, Kingdom things. We do not get to choose how we learn these lessons, for if we did we would only learn them to the level our fears would allow, which is not a Kingdom depth of love, empathy or grace.

You’re getting exactly what you asked for, just not the way you were expecting it.

This is why you must set your eyes on what is happening below the surface, in your heart, mind and spirit where the real work is being done. Trust God’s wisdom in this and lean on his understanding of the situation. Obedience to him will garner the characteristics you long for.

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