Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Trip to the Spa

It's time. Time for our Golden Retriever, Precious, to spend a day at the spa. You know - the doggie day spa. Following a long winter, her fur is thick and shaggy and in need of skilled hands to transform her tangles into a soft, sleek coat.

Precious loves an adventure. Her excitement is barely contained when she realizes she's in for a car ride. Nothing gets her more wound up than backing the car out of the garage and lifting the hatch. For Precious, this combination serves as an irresistible invitation to defy the invisible fence and make a flying leap into the car. And surprisingly, for an eighty-something pound retriever, she makes it look easy!

Precious doesn't mind going into the vet's office where the groomer has her business. She doesn't even mind stepping on the scale. In fact, everyone within licking distance is sure to know Precious is there. She truly lives up to the breed's sweet-natured, friendliness. But the tail wagging and cooperation stop there.

I'd have to say Precious merely tolerates the fur trimming and thinning process. She begins to show some annoyance when the groomer begins cleaning her ears. And following her bath, the high-pitched whine of the blow-dryer sends her darting into the nearest corner. But the results are amazing.

Clean, soft fur feels like silk under our fingers. Tangled hair no longer forms mats under her ears. Her newly thinned coat and trimmed leg fringes remind us that she's a Golden, and not a wooly mammoth. The shampoo has left her smelling fresh and her toenails are neatly clipped. What a transformation! And in spite of her objections, Precious is clearly much cooler and more energetic as a result of her new 'do.'

My Heavenly Father periodically schedules trips to the 'spiritual' day spa for me. His goal is for me to be an accurate reflection of Him, and for my life to draw others to Him. At first, my prayer echoes that of the Psalmist David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," (Psalm 139:23-24; KJV). When His finger rests on an attitude or action that's displeasing to Him, I begin to squirm.

As the Master Gardener, He begins reshaping the areas that need to be changed. Some cuts are made here. A little trimming done there. The process is painful. I protest, hoping it will be over soon. His word reminds me of the truth - pruning helps me bear more fruit. My job is to abide in Him. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples," (John 15:5,8).

When I cooperate with the Lord in the reshaping process, the results are amazing. I more accurately reflect my Heavenly Father. The transformation has begun. As I grow to understand that my Savior desires truth in the depth of my being, and that He always has my best interests at heart, I can look forward with eager anticipation to another day at the 'spiritual' day spa!

What about you? Is there something the Father has a finger on in your life? Will you allow the Lord to begin the reshaping process?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your patience with me. Help me to identify and eliminate those things You're displeased with in my life. I know transformation is a life-long process. Thank You that You give me the opportunity to bear much fruit for You. Help me be obedient to You in the reshaping process. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. I am not really a dog person, but yours sounds absolutely... precious :) great post Maria!
    Yes, there are many things the Father has a finger on in my life... testing my faith, patience, endurance and self control, and at the same time crushing my pride... well, you'll get the picture.

  2. What a great analogy....and I love precious!!!

    There is much to be released back into his control daily and you are so right...the results are amazing when we cooperate! He always knows what is best.

  3. Golden Retrievers are gorgeous, and Precious proves it.

    I've been in that spot more times than I can count. Maybe a little more daily maintenance would make my times a bit easier. :)


  4. Your dog sure looks amazing and adorable!

  5. The process of pruning hurts. . .thinking of it, I can almost hear the "snip snip" and imagine the leaves and branches falling to the ground. . but it's all with the hopes of producing more (much more) fruit! Much more beautiful, bountiful LIFE~a life that can be a blessing to many more people because it endured the pruning. I just noticed when I was typing that I almost typed "pruIn" instead of prunIng. But how interesting that when I put the "I" first in pruning (pruIn) it looks like RUIN. If I insist on MY way first, then I can be assured that my life will be ruined, as far as being anything productive for our Lord's glory. It's best to be tender, yielding to His hands, and pliable too--so we won't "snap" under pressure! :)
    Precious is...well~ just precious! :)

  6. I love your example. Love your dog too. :)
    Recently the Lord has been showing me an attitude that I have that He wants me to stop having. Everytime it pops up I hear His reminder. I so want to look more like Jesus and so glad that is what He wants for me too.
    Thanks for the post

  7. I do need some reshaping in areas...aiming to better yield in 2011!

  8. Hi Maria,
    Love your post as always! Love the analogy! Love your dog too-she is so cute!
    Hmmm-yes the Lord is working in my life,pruning and preparing and testing my faith. Oh my this hurts doesn't it? I am leaning on Him and I know He will take me through my storms and lessons will be learnt.
    Have a great week sweet friend.
    Blessings and hugs.

  9. Marja - Great to see you! I can definitely relate to the things you mentioned the Lord has His finger on in your life...It's a blessing to be His child - knowing that He's correcting each of us for our good and His glory. Have a wonderful week, my friend! Hugs and blessings!

  10. Lorraine - Thanks for stopping by! Releasing things to God's control IS so very important! I'm currently dealing with a few situations that have required exactly that. So thankful that God knows what He's doing! Things are best left in His capable hands. God bless!

    Susan - You bring up a great point - performing daily maintenance is so very important to make the pruning process a bit easier! I'll be sure to let Precious know that you think she's gorgeous - I'm sure she'll wag her tail furiously in response! Have a beautiful week full of God's blessings!

  11. Natalie - Welcome to Life Lessons! So good to have you stop by. I'll be sure to pass your compliment along to Precious! She loves being told that she's amazing and adorable! Have a great week. God bless!

    Tammi - Great to see you! Your response is so thought-provoking - I believe you need to blog about it! Fantastic observation: "If I insist on MY way first, then I can be assured that my life will be ruined, as far as being anything productive for our Lord's glory." Thanks for your insight and words of wisdom! Have a blessed week, my friend!

  12. Elaine - Attitudes can be so subtle can't they? Without careful analysis it's easy to miss a wrong attitude. So encouraging to hear that you've tuned into the Lord's still, small voice reminding you to change - so you'll look more like the Master! God bless you much as you endeavor to please Him!

    Karen - God bless you as you desire to yield a bountiful harvest in 2011! Hugs!

    Linda - Will definitely pass along your compliment to Precious! She never tires of being praised! You're absolutely right that the pruning process isn't the most pleasant - but the results are well worth it! Love to hear the confidence you express in knowing that God will surely bring you through the storms. Thanks for sharing your faith! Hugs and abundant blessings, my friend!