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 then 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.
*A re-post from 4/2010