My Calling to Difficulties...8:22 AM
He Made Me Into a Polished Arrow
Pebble Beach is famous for the beautiful pebbles found along the beach. The raging white surf continually roars, thundering and pounding against the rocks of the shore. These stones are trapped in the arms of the merciless waves. They are tossed, rolled, rubbed together, and ground against the sharp edges of the cliffs. Both day and night, this process of grinding continues relentlessly.
I am completely engulfed with today's devotional. I love the way the text takes you to the exact beach in California, how the words almost allow you to hear the waves crashing; I can almost feel the warm air on my skin and the water beneath my feet. I start to think of all the times I have been in the middle of crashing waves and relentless tossing and turning in my own life. Times when I wanted nothing more to but to stop living due to pain. Times in my job where I thought the chaos would never end, or the overwhelming fear that kept me from catching my breath. Yet, every difficult season brought me to a new place, a "new shore" in life where I was able to rest in arms of Christ.
Everyone experiences hard times; it comes with this thing we call life. Times will come where you're left feeling exactly like that rock being thrashed against the ocean floor, over and over again. You're going to feel like you are drowning, it will seem like it will never end.
How can anyone survive this kind of storm? What is the purpose of the pain?
For polish is the result of difficulties (Streams in Dessert).
In God's word we can read story after story of people going through difficult trials, over and over again. Trials that seem too great to carry. We see in His word how God provided comfort and rest to those in the midst of their trails. In James chapter one, it says: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. // James 1:2-4
"Produces steadfast" and "that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." What trial have you gone through that provided an open door? How have you grown stronger from the experience of pain? What are your strengths today from the times of trials?
You see, there is a purpose to every trial. There's beauty in your loss. There is more to the story than you may ever know. He holds you in the palm of His hand ("For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." // Isaiah 41:13 ). He allows trials and testing to grow you in your faith. He loves us enough to provide us with opportunities to step out and work hard to provide us greater opportunities. He wants to purify us SO THAT we can be complete and lacking in nothing. He wants to polish you to rid you of all the sharp, cutting edges.
If He were to leave us as a rock, resting on a quiet peaceful beach, leaving us as we've always been, we will stay as we've always been - rough, unpolished, and devoid of beauty - for polish is the result of difficulties .(Streams in the Desert Devotional)
I am called to be tested and tried. Not because God wants a hard life for me, but because He has a greater calling for my life and wants me to live according to His purpose. Sometimes finding the purpose means I need to be chipped and chiseled. Sometimes that means I need to go through the crashing of waves.
1 Peter 1:6-7 //
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.