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Here’s to Being Refined

September 22, 2008

My wife brought it to my attention that I haven’t contributed to this blog in quite some time.  And she’s right, I really haven’t been able to come up with much to say.  I think the reason for this is that I’ve been facing a lot of challenges lately, hence I’ve been mostly in ‘processing mode.’

Today begins the second week that Ashley and I are living in different cities.  She’s up in Toledo working at her new job, while I’m still here in Indianapolis with our dogs praying every day that God will sell our house.  And it’s a weird sense of helplessness… because I can’t do anything to sell this house… I’ve worked on the yard, we’ve put in new tile, everything is neat and tidy… but until God brings someone through the door to buy it, my house will keep me here in Indy.

I’ve even tried to find side jobs in Toledo that would supplement my income and make it possible to rent an apartment so that we can both be in the same place.  But so far nothing has panned out.  As a result, I’m trying to figure out the lesson God has for me in all of this.

At times, I’m tempted to get angry or upset at the fact that my hands are basically tied.  Then again, with all of the reformed theology I’ve been reading over the past year, it only makes sense that I’m now getting a real-life lesson in God’s sovereignty… it’s A LOT easier to swallow on paper than it is in real life.  And the crazy part is that God is still GOOD, and LOVING, and RIGHTEOUS, and AMAZING, even though I’m not particularly a fan of His timing right now.

It’s kind of funny, actually, because I’ve taught others about how God’s timing is perfect, and that God knows everything that they’re going through, and that He is in control.  And now I’m getting to practically learn that myself.

And even though I sometimes downright hate the situation I’m in, it doesn’t change God’s timeless truths and promises.  In other words, the context doesn’t change the truth.  It is of no consequence that I don’t like something that’s going on.  I DON’T CHANGE THE TRUTH- THE TRUTH CHANGES ME.

True to form, God is using a situation that permeates every facet of my life to make sure the point gets driven home… i’m away from my wife, i’m away from my family, i’m away from ministry, and anyone who could be a distraction is hours away by car.  i’m literally an island here in Indy.  There’s nothing to dilute the situation.

Of course, He’s still providing for me, and encouraging me through His Word and through periodic phone calls and even a trip back to Toledo every now and then.  But by and large, I’m just here.  Here with Him.  No one else (well, there are the dogs, of course, but they’re not much in the way of conversation).

If I believe that God is constantly preparing me for what’s next (and I do believe that) then I also have to believe that I am being refined right now.  And the refining process isn’t a pleasurable one.  When refining metal, the metalsmith uses heat and pressure to get the impurities to rise to the top so he can skim them off and throw them away.

So here’s to being refined!  May it be a thorough and far-reaching process.  Cheers!

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