1Peter 1:3-7 (the message paraphrase)
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven–and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all–life healed and whole.
I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.
Fairy Dust. For a period of time in my adult life I kept waiting for it to rain down. My personality was heavy with the weight of confusion, shame, regret, rejection and insecurity. My marriage was difficult, in part to my issues, and so I got back into church. I grew up in church so I had that foundation. I had experienced Jesus in my life for a few years in a way that I couldn’t shake. So, I relented and went back to church. Eventually, the presence of God washed over me in such a way I sobbed (the ugly cry) in the middle of a song in which the words were…”Better is one day in your courts, Better is one day in your house…Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.” I knew that indeed there is no place better than the “courts” or presence of my Heavenly Father. A beginning.
I read verses like the ones above…a whole and healed life…and for a while I thought just because I read them and hoped for them that was enough to bring on the aforementioned fairy dust. Because I was “right” with God and in church…reading and believing the Bible…God could just sprinkle some “instant change” dust onto my life and my marriage. Even once my husband and I were in church together, truly realizing how much we needed God, the magical dust still alluded us.
The scripture above speaks of God keeping careful watch over us and the future, the day coming when we will have life healed and whole. It goes on to speak of pure gold put in the fire coming out proved pure…genuine faith though suffering proved genuine. It is our faith that God will display as evidence of His victory. I believe the only true and lasting victory we have in any area of our lives comes though Jesus…it happens as we become more like Him…as we are emptied of ourselves and filled with more of Him. We begin to respond to people and situations the way He leads us and it brings change and healing. Part of knowing Him, of making more room for Him in our lives, is choosing to walk though the fire, the difficult circumstances, and letting it burn off of us the impurities that hold us back. Of course that sounds painful and what it hurts most is our pride. Wouldn’t we all rather have everyone think we have it all together? The truth is we all have times of God leading us through the refiners fire so He can bring healing and wholeness into our lives. I encourage you to yield to Jesus in the ways He leads, even if you feel like it will burn you alive!! Yielding to God, obeying Him, makes room in our life for Him to move and work out his plans and purposes in us and for us. Here is my amazing discovery: The most effective way for my life to change is for me to change! And I can’t change myself so it requires me leaning on and trusting God to do it as I cooperate with Him.
There is no spiritual fairy dust. There is only trusting God. Day by Day. Hour by hour. Step by step. Choosing to let Him walk you through the heat of hard times and your own issues is the only way to victory. He is a lover and a gentleman…He is your shield and protector…the lion and the lamb. He will walk with you every step of the way…take a breath…and take His hand.