Her soft snores punctuated the stillness. At first, I couldn't make sense of the sound. But a quick glance in the direction of the living room confirmed my suspicions. My cat, Courtney, lay curled up on one of the chairs, fast asleep, gray fur sticking up in all directions.
Most cats enjoy being groomed. Not Courtney. She's quick to jump up on the couch to share some family time, and just as quick to jump down if I try to get in a few strokes with her brush. Oddly enough, when I attempt to hold her still and do a more thorough job, she actually purrs. Done regularly, the frequent brushings keep the mats in her fur to a minimum, and I can groom Courtney quickly. It seems that although she's not crazy about the process, she feels better once she's brushed.
Reminds me of the often painful refining process the Lord applies in my life. I long to be the type of vessel the Lord can use, yet I'm not quite as eager to sign up for the furnace experiences that help me become that useful, highly polished tool. Much like Courtney, I'm not keen on things that cause discomfort or pain - although I recognize the value of the experiences once I'm on the other side.
Case in point. The flight where I was given the opportunity to share Christ with a fellow passenger. I had a list of things to keep me busy for quite some time. In fact, I was actually looking forward to the down time to get some things done. But then the gentleman across from me started a conversation. It would have been easy to give a brief answer and turn back to my work.
The truth was, I had prayed that very morning to be used as a witness. Did I really mean what I said? Or had it just been a routine prayer? It wasn't comfortable to give up my free time, but I knew the Lord had orchestrated the opportunity. As I spoke with the man, I could almost feel the Lord scouring the selfishness from me.
God's Word is full of truths that, when applied, act as cleansing agents. Powerful purifiers that remove the things from my life that make me rough around the edges. The Apostle Paul describes it accurately, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," (Hebrews 4:12; KJV).
But one trip to the Master Refiner is not enough. Just like Courtney needs a daily brushing, I need daily refining. I know that the process is difficult, but the end result will be a clear reflection of my Master.
Is the Lord refining you? How will you cooperate with Him in this process today?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving me enough to scour the rough edges from me. Help me to 'hold still' and let You accomplish Your work in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!
A re-post from 11/2011