June 10, 2012

Sanctified by glory and fire

I've been wrestling with this idea of being transformed. 

I don't want to be different, or weird. 

The sermon today was about transition and transformation. It was, of course, just what I needed to hear. And to my friends who graduated college in May and are searching for what's next, this is for you too.

I realized during church that my wrestle and struggle has been the 'refining by fire', handiwork of God himself. I've written in emails to friends that "I can't do this, I can't go to another country by myself and live. I can't do this." Their response, "But, you are doing it" is that gentle reminder to not forget that the Almighty is holding my hand each moment of each day. 

But we fear transformation, don't we? We fear change, we fear being uncomfortable... 
"The world enslaves us with fear; the Spirit frees us from that slavery and restores us to the true relationship. That is what Paul means when he says: "All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons [daughters] of God, for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, 'Abba, Father!'" (Romans 8:15). Henri Nouwen
Change and transition presents us with difficult challenges, but its God's mercy to use it to transform us into who He needs us to be. Never does he leave us alone in it or will He lead us to our doom. He has called us by name and we are His. How glorious then is it to cry out to Him in our struggles? We can trust Him, with hearts that are confident in the truth that He plans to prosper us, not to harm us. 

I'm not sure if a caterpillar really enjoys the process of changing into a butterfly, but the end result is so worth it, isn't it? Whatever the difficulties and challenges we face, we do not face them alone and we can trust that He will be faithful to bring us through, more beautiful than before.  

At the end of the sermon, the pastor invited the church to repent, to trust the Lord and give our lives as a living sacrifice. I sure needed to ask the Lord to forgive me for fighting Him and for not thanking Him for transforming me into someone who reveals more of His beauty.


running4him said...

great post. It is awesome how God is changing you. That's why I love missions. It is so great to see the change in people))

Jeanne said...

Susan, you are certainly growing closer to the Lord through this experience. It is not in vain that you are there.