I was doing one of my at-home projects that involved moving furniture around.
When I get in my reorganization zone, there’s no stopping me. I just might change up the location of everything in a specific area.
Do you do that too or am I the only one?
Well, anyway, as I was bopping around, humming to myself and putting in work, I felt this terrible burning in my left pinky finger.
“Ow!” I groaned and peeked at it, but couldn’t see anything.
It wasn’t until later that night, while sitting down in my bedroom, that I noticed the tiny sliver of wood beneath the skin.
I hate splinters.
No matter how small they are, they create such discomfort.
Now, usually, I pull out my needle and tweezers for the children when they show up needing me to take out whatever fragment has gotten itself lodged in their finger or foot somehow.
I don’t mind doing that.
But having to stick a needle in my own finger—especially that baby one without a whole lot of meat on it—was unpleasant.
Didn’t like it one bit.
Before poking around to get that barely visible sliver out, whenever I rubbed my hand over the area, that sharp pain made me wince and jump.
I wanted to be rid of it.
That bad boy had to be removed.
So the process began.
Poke. Lift. Repeat.
That’s what I had to do.
I punctured the thin top layer of the skin, without going too deep and split it open to expose what was underneath.
My mom, one of the best splinter removers I know, taught me how to work that needle.
She would always put her glasses on, get some extra light, lean in really close and do her work.
When I was a little girl, I watched her, intrigued. By observing, I learned to master the technique.
These days, when I find myself hunched over one of the children’s feet or fingers with a needle and tweezers, I think to myself, “I have officially turned into my mother.”
That is an honor for me.
She is the strongest, most awesome woman I know—bar none.
So, when I was performing minor stick-extraction-surgery on myself, I had to personally apply the method I use on others.
From the first contact with the skin, however, the burning was awful. I really wanted to leave that thing in there, because just going near it with the pointy silver tip made me want to jump out of my skin.
But I kept on going, because I knew the temporary discomfort that came along with the removal process was necessary to give me permanent relief.
I got that old splinter out too.
[Cue angelic voices singing “Hallelujah!”]
Instantly, I felt better.
In life, many of us want to feel better, don’t we? We wish to improve in some area, but we despise the unpleasantness of the process of getting to that place.
Before we can move onto the more pleasant phase, there is something that comes first.
You see, very frequently, the pain we experience is symptomatic of unhealthy attachments. People or things—sometimes, both—that mean us no good have infiltrated our space and mentality. As a result, we end up hurting in some way.
So we cry out to God to ease the heartache, frustration, stress, anxiety, pressure and general brokenness we feel.
He responds by uprooting whatever and whoever is standing in the way of our wholeness.
But here’s the thing.
The process of removing what hurts us also hurts us. God has to, on occasion, hurt us to help us. Yet, if we can endure the momentary discomfort, it will lead to long-lasting benefits.
Friend, God rarely eases our pain the way we want Him to or in the timeframe we desire. He does things His own way and His own timing. I say that all the time because it's so true. Grasping this principle is central to our faith walk.
I love the way this idea was fleshed out in Barnes’ Notes on the Bible I was reading earlier today. I'll share it with you:
“It is not wrong to ask God to interpose at once in our behalf when we are in trouble, though it is our duty to be patient and resigned if his interposition is delayed, for he may have important ends to accomplish by our continuing to suffer.”
Isn’t that a good word?
At the end of the day, if you know you are walking in accordance with God’s will for your life, expect to go through some things.
And when God is taking you through the deliverance process, know that it will hurt at certain points. But don't fret.
Once God finishes clearing out the clutter invading your life and taking you through divine refinement, you will be freer, happier, full of joy and peace, and you’ll get a new lease on life.
It will happen, but again, in His own timing.
In His own way.
One of my favorite hymns is "Have Thine Own Way." The lyrics say,
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
The Lord loves you.
It is not His will for you to remain in a perpetual state of pain and brokenness. And while it is true that Believers must suffer for the sake of Christ, there are certain kinds of suffering that are unnecessary and distracting.
Like the kind that results from connections and ties that are not God-ordained.
God wants to get rid of all that junk in your life.
Are you willing to let Him do it or are you going to grow far too weary, discouraged and disillusioned with the pain to stand through it?
If you trust God and know that He wants only what is best for you, then let Him do His work.
He is faithful to cause all things to work together for your good.
To help you still yourself and rest in God through your process, I’m stirring Psalm 66:10 NLT into your cup of inspiration, which says, “You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, may your be inspired to remain firm in faith through your purification process.
As God purges your life of anything and anyone He has not chosen to be in it, hold fast to His word. Remain confident in His will. Trust in His sovereignty. He will take care of you.
Surrender to God's process.
When you do, you will be so much better for having done it.
Now let’s pray together.
God, I thank You for loving me enough to remove the things and people from my life that I don’t need. And while it doesn’t always feel good, I know what You are doing is good for me. So I trust You through it all and praise You for what You will do for, in and through me as I submit to Your plan for me. All I have is yours. Do with it as You will. I trust You completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.