"Polish" - 1) To make smooth and shiny; 2) To free from coarseness; 3) To complete or perfect by removing flaws.
Is there an event or person in my life, right now, who is causing me great sorrow?
How am I dealing with the pain I am going through at this time?
"Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with."
"Step 1: Polishing Through Sorrow"
"It is better to learn early of the inevitable depths, for then sorrow and death take their proper place in life, and one is not afraid."
Pearl S. Buck
My Several Words
When my father was just six months old, his mother died suddenly. With this great loss and unable to take care of his family, my dad's father returned home to Tennessee, leaving his youngest child (my dad) behind with a neighbor. Growing up, my father couldn't help but feel abandoned. A lonely little boy who lost both his mother and father.
Years later, my dad confided to me that he often wished he had known his parents and that he wanted a family he could call his own. As an adult, when my dad finally found out where his mother was buried, he made time on his business trips to Phoenix, Arizona to stop behind a little white church, well off the road, where a cemetery held the body of his dear mother - a woman, he later found out, was a kind, generous Christian person.
While my father rarely spoke about the heartbreak of his childhood, I know he carried this pain in his heart all his life
How about you? Is there a sorrow that today is weighing heavily on your heart? Is there a painful event that colors the canvas of your life? Or has someone left a hole in your heart and you constantly ache?
No one I know has a life free from pain and hurt. All of us experience times when our hearts break to the point we think they will never heal. If this is the position you find yourself in, then come back in time with me to Shushan - the palace headquarters for Ahasuerus, King of Media and Persia, a geographic territory stretching from India to Ethiopia.
In this land, a Jewish man named Mordecai was living. He was displaced from Jerusalem, brought as a captive. But Mordecai, through God's oversight in his life, had now become a respected leader. And there was a "treasure" in his house. Mordecai's cousin lived with him. She was an orphan child having lost both her parents. Who knows, they may have been killed by foreign soldiers or perhaps they became ill and died in a foreign land.
What we do know is that Hadassah (or Esther, as she is commonly known) had a kind, generous cousin who brought her into his home and raised her as his own daughter. There is no doubt that Mordecai loved this child with all his heart. Yet I am certain, that like my own father, there must have been times when young Esther's heart broke because of the loss of those closest to her.
Little did this young child know that God would use this early sorrow in her life to open her heart to the needs of others. As we walk with Esther this week, through the highs and lows of her life, we will see that at every step of the journey, God was "polishing" her, getting her ready to fulfill the purpose for her life.
Just like Esther, whatever the sorrow and pain that tears at your heart today, God can take that ache and not only heal it but use it to help you bring His glory into the lives of others.
If ever there was a person who faced great pain in their life, it was Helen Keller who at the ago of 18 months was shut out of the world she had know. At this young age, Helen became blind and deaf for the remainder of her life. You and I might think our lives would be over if challenged by these devastating circumstances. Yet in her lifetime, Helen Keller wrote twelve books and numerous articles on blindness, deafness, social issues, and women's rights.
In her own words, she gives us perspective on the hardships we face in our lives. "We could never learn to be brave and patient, it there was only joy in the world."
I want to leave you with these beautiful words penned by Christian author E. White:
"The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove impurities and roughness from our characters. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process…But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place…Upon no useless material does God bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the (likeness) similitude of a palace."
Mount of Blessings
Pages 23, 24
"Our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude (likeness) of a palace."
Psalm 144: 12
The pain you face today may well be the stepping stones God is using to fulfill His purpose in your life. And as we face the hurt and sorrow that life brings, we can cling to God's promise, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
II Corinthians 12: 9
"For our momentary affliction is preparing us and producing and achieving for us everlasting glory…blessedness that will never cease."
II Corinthians 4: 17
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30: 5
"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.