"Polish" - 1) To make smooth and shiny; 2) To free from coarseness; 3) To complete or perfect by removing flaws.
What have I learned this week about the process God uses to "polish" my life for His gloryWhat does the word "sacrifice" mean to me?
"Jade which has not been polished is of no use."
"I'll refine them as silver is refined, test them for purity as gold is tested. Then they'll pray to me by name and I'll answer them personally. I'll say, ‘That's my people.' They'll say, ‘God --- my God.'"
Zechariah 13: 9
Over the last few days, through the life of Esther we have reflected on how God polishes and refines our lives in order that we may realize the potential He has envisioned for us.
At times this process takes us through the valley of sorrow; through lonely days of separation; through a painful struggle where we learn to sacrifice; through the appreciation of the power of the king and the ability to grasp His authority to meet our daily problems. Finally, we learned that this process gives us "success" by providing us with God's eternal peace, which surrounds us even in the midst of the turmoil we face on earth.
While the process we have studied may not bring us some "here-today-gone-tomorrow-pleasure," we are assured that the eternal glory is well-worth our effort and the work God is putting into us will bring us forth, as His shining jewels.
Recently, in the book, Meditations of the Heart by Howard Thurman, I read a short essay he wrote regarding the Yucca plant. I guess this story caught my eye because I have lived so much of my life in the deserts of the Southwest and have grown accustomed to seeing these plants.
As Dr. Thurman writes, a kind friend sent him a letter that contained the following information: "I learned a truth about the Yucca…that its huge seed-pod cluster must never be disturbed until the pods are empty of seed…otherwise the seeds will be spilled on the rock and hard soil and be eaten by birds or mice. Only the terrific lashing and tearing of winter storms can rightly thrash out these seeds and smash them on their pods down among the rocks and thus blow or wash the seeds into crevices - where they can safely germinate, root and find sufficient water and depth in their short growing season before the summer drought sets in, thus to carry over the young plant."
While the fierce winds, call it "polishing" if you wish, may seem at first to be destructive to the plant - future growth of new life is impossible without stormy conditions.
As you reflect today on the "polishing" work taking place in your life, I pray you will remember these beautiful and encouraging words by S. O. Gordon, "More is being planned for you by God, than had been prayed for by us."
What seems to cause struggle in our lives today, may be God's "polishing" process at work in bringing forth a perfect stone fit for His Temple.
"There are qualities that seem to be hidden deep within the very texture of the human spirit that can only be laid bare, that they may grow and be fruitful, by the most terrific flailings of a desperate adversity. There are not only such qualities as endurance but also such qualities as tenderness, gentleness, and boundless affection…there is a strange halo surrounding great tribulation which shines in transcendent glory."
Meditations of the Heart
"O Lord, when I am bewildered and the world is all noise and confusion around me and I don't know which way to go and am frightened, then be thou with me. Put thy hand on my shoulder and let thy strength invade my weakness and thy light burn the mist from my mind. Help me to step forward with faith in the way I should go."
"Shine by the side of every path we tread with such a luster (she) that runs may read."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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