|Photo courtesy John De Boer, rgbstock.com|
Have you ever refinished an old piece of furniture? The process involves lots of sanding to cut through and remove layers of wax, varnish and paint until you can see the beauty of the raw wood with all its grains in varying shades and even the knots that make it truly a unique piece. It's a lot of hard work, but the end result is beautiful
When we come to Christ, God begins a sanding process on us to strip away all the rough layers we've built up. Layers that protect or cover up what's really inside. He knows how He created you-who He made you to be and He will not let up until He sees the real you shining forth.
How does He do it? Sandpaper!
Sometimes He uses difficult circumstances and sometimes He uses difficult people. I call these Sandpaper People.
They're abrasive, frustrating and annoying. They make your life difficult. They hurt you. And when their life rubs up against yours, it's painful.
They strip away the smooth exterior we try so hard to maintain only to reveal some ugly layers that lie beneath. Anger, impatience, prejudice, unforgiveness...these are just a few of the things that God uses Sandpaper People to reveal. Not so He can point a finger and say how bad you are, but so that we are aware of what's still lingering under the new surface of your relationship with Christ - so that we can offer those things up to Him for forgiveness and healing.
So, the next time you rub up against one of those Sandpaper People, instead of getting mad, take a moment to ask yourself what it is that God is trying to show you about yourself and then let him smooth away that layer to reveal a newer you.
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
Father, thank you for loving me just the way I am, but also for loving me too much to leave me this way. I welcome you to change those things in me that need changing so that I might be the person you created me to be. I know it will be painful at times, but I am willing to go through the sanding process so that my life will be a beautiful testimony of your transformational power. Amen
(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)