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Monday, August 25, 2008

Sandpaper Touch

There’s a renovation project going on in my office building. For the past few weeks, I’ve navigated through a variety of construction crews doing everything from demolition to window installation. Today the carpenters were on the job. I don’t know what their specific project was, but I know they were sanding. I heard the high power sanders and saw the remnants of their efforts covering all the workspace outside.

I thought about the sanding process. I like to refinish furniture and I know sanding is an essential step to creating a smooth finish. First, all the old finish has to be removed and then you take sandpaper to the bare wood. A mountain of dust later, your piece will look smooth and ready, but it may not be. This is where the touch test comes in. Run your fingers across the bare, sanded wood and feel for any imperfection. Do you feel any ridges, bumps or dents? What you can’t see, you can feel.

This process is a picture of what the Lord is doing in my life. He’s touched my life and found the flaws that others don’t see. He looks beyond what is noticeable to the eye and finds the places that need work. The Lord knows my heart and while my outward appearance may look fine to others, He needed to get rid of some of the bumps and ridges in my spirit. I didn’t like it and I still don’t like it. It’s painful. I’ve walked away from this sandpaper process – more than once. But I’m back now, because I know to move forward with Him and His plans for me, I have to allow Him to refine me.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

You are His workmanship. We are His workmanship.
The Lord continues His work on me. He’s sanding my spirit and with each pass little bits of the old me are falling away – bits of pride, envy, jealousy and anger are turning to dust in His hands. He’s sanding away my desire to be in control of every situation. He’s sanding away my need to succeed and replacing it with a deep desire to serve Him. The feeling is raw and painful as the old is scrubbed away and the new revealed.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Ps 51:10

That's what I want -- a steadfast spirit. A spirit fully committed to serving the Lord. A spirit wholly sold out to God. A spirit that won't waver at adversity or at controversy. I know that sanding is a step in this process, I don't know where He will lead me next, but I just know that I will go. I will follow Him and I will serve Him. It won't always be easy and it won't always be fun, but it will always be filled with the peace and the joy of serving Him. A joy that surpasses all understanding.

Where are you today?
Is there something in your life that the Lord needs to sand down?
Are you struggling with a past hurt?
Are you like me and want to be in control of everything?
Are you dealing with feelings of loss or rejection?

Let Him renew your spirit within you. You are His workmanship – His masterpiece. He created you and He will renew you. Ask God to show you what past struggles are troubling you and let Him begin His mighty work in you.

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Anonymous Ruthie said...

Thank you for blessing me this morning with this devotional ... I am preparing to speak at a ladies retreat weekend in 2 weeks time and your thoughts on the "sanding process" give me another perspective.God gave me this as my "topic" - "How's Your Heart" - so again I saw thank you!!!!!! This site blesses me everyday!

I started a devotional blog in July - under the Lord's prompting! I stand in amazement at how God works in our lives!and I think "Imagine! Me! Wow! All the glory goes to HIM!

Blessing to you!
Ruhtie Allen-Hamilton
Nova Scotia, Canada
`For I KNOW whom I have believed.

August 25, 2008 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger April Watters said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 25, 2008 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very encouraging and just what I needed to start the week. The Lord is sanding me down in areas with my husband...pride. You are right, it hurts and its not easy but we have to be obedient.
Have a great week!

Your sister in Christ,

August 25, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Very awesome, bless you.

August 25, 2008 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Thanks for an amazing post. I enjoyed it immensely! Cindi

August 25, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Thanks for all your sweet comments -- it is such a blessing to be serving among such an amazing and talented group! I'm humbled to be in their company.

August 25, 2008 at 10:49 PM  

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