“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.”
Coming to the realization that God knows best can either come easy to you or with hardship–for me it came down hard. When I was a lukewarm Christian, I was stuck in the habit of thinking that I had to know everything and plan out every event in my life by a certain age, date or time. I had to be in control of everything in my life and thank God afterwards, if at all. This stubbornness and controlling behavior took root within me and led to me relying on my own works to puff up my ego and either make God an after thought or not a thought at all.
Looking back, there were so many red flags that God sent my way but because I wasn’t spending any time with him and chose to be like the world, I dismissed His warnings. Instead of allowing me to continue down the path to destruction, God had to tear down everything around me. Everything that I had accomplished, took pride in and used to cover up the pain I was dealing with came crashing down. This is what God had to do to get my attention, to make me see that it was Him that I needed and not the things of this world.
This period in my life was when I felt the most vulnerable. For years I had used my academic and musical achievements to cover up the void in my heart. The void consisted of the inadequacy I felt from having a chronic illness, the shame of the abuse that I had suffered in the past and the thoughts that ran through my head that I had messed up too bad for God to ever love me. It was in the pit of my despair that I had came to know what genuine love felt like. Yes I had hit rock bottom, but I knew that I would not stay there. I knew that I had to turn my life around and that with God I could rise again.
REFINE: To remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
Now that I had accepted God into my life, I gave Him complete control of everything. But before he could use me, he had to refine me–and he’s still refining me. He washed me in His blood and made me white as snow. He continually renews my mind and my spirit and plucks out the thorns that the world had rooted in my mind. He adopted me as His child and gave me new life.
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
God was not the cause of my affliction, but He allowed me to endure to testify of His glory and His strength in my life. I know that there are people reading this who believe that I should not be sharing my story. I know that someone believes that the things I have been through are not something to share with the world. I want to let you know that keeping my story hidden because of the fear of judgement is what kept me in bondage for many years. By being transparent, I have set that part of my life free and hope to help someone else gain freedom through Christ Jesus. This is how I am letting God refine me, how are you letting God refine you?