Has anyone ever said that to you? I've certainly heard it a lot. But it can be true: our words are powerful, and our petitions can have implications we have not prepared for.
For example, have you ever wanted to re-do an entire room? I wanted a beautiful walk in pantry. So we converted the old entryway to the house into a pantry. Hardwood floors, new drywall, paint, new light fixtures, new shelves, even crown moulding! And an adorable white screen door that you have to open to walk into the pantry. It's more beautiful than I could have imagined.
But do you know what we had to do to get it that way?? It was hideous. My husband has this amazing ability to see things in his head as they will be finished. I, however, do not. I just saw a huge mess that could never amount to anything.
He had to strip everything...the floor (I think we even saw the original dirt floor!!), the ceiling, walls, right down to the studs. It went from a pathetic, dingy room with bowed shelves nailed on the walls (with PANELING on the walls AND ceiling!) to absoluely bare nothingness. But it was not until it was broken down to nothing that it could be remade beautifully.
See where I'm going here???
"The Process of Holiness
We ask that God would make us holy. It is a good request indeed. But are we prepared to be sanctified by any process that God in His wisdom may call on us to pass through? Are we ready to be purified by affliction, weaned from the world by bereavements, drawn nearer to God by losses, sicknesses and sorrow? Alas! these are hard questions. But if we are not, our Lord might well say to us, “You don’t know what you are asking.”"
~ J.C. Ryle
I remember shortly before I got really, really sick, I submitted my life 100% to God, to do with what He saw fit to bring me in to closer relationship with Him. Friends, I got GUTTED! I went from a pathetic, dingy vessel to be stripped down....Lost my job, my church family, many of me "friends", my independence, my health, my ability to breathe normally, my singing voice, and a lot of baggage that needed to be let go.
I am still still very much in the process of being restored, but I tell you, even in my semi-finished state, I am a better person than I EVER was before. And it's only going to get better.
If you've been around me for any length of time, you will probably hear me talk about The Blessings of Brokenness by Charles Stanley. If you struggle with any kind of suffering or loss, you MUST read this book. It changed my life. God loves all of us too much to leave us where we are...too far away from Him. He will do whatever is necessary to bring you to Himself.
That may mean giving up a relationship He knows isn't good for you. It may mean finally kicking that habit you know isn't good for you. It may mean suffering. But don't EVER think God is punishing you. God doesn't PUNISH His children. He discliplines them, but that's not ever what I'm talking about here.
I'm talking about pruning, I suppose. If a tree had feelings, it probably wouldn't feel so good getting a bunch of your arms chopped off every year. Yet if it didn't, it would get overgrown and it's fruit or flowers wouldn't be as full and wonderful as they could be!
I'm not sure if God will heal me on this side of heaven or not. I know, however, in my heart, 100%, that I WILL be healed one way or another. I am on my way; I just may not get all the way there before I reach heaven. If God can use this broken vessel to reach out to someone before He fixes it, so be it. It is NOTHING compared to the glory that will be eventually, but certainly, be demonstrated in me. God Bless you all today, no matter where you are!