March 30, 2013

The Sharpest Tool In the Shed

"Adversity is not simply a tool.  It is God's most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives.  The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth.  Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear." ~ Charles Stanley

I thought I had licked it.  I thought I had grown above being adversely affected by the stress in my life and finally fully understood blessing in burden, knew how to look for it, and be gracious under it.  And maybe that is the very reason that today happened. I needed to be shown that God is still God, and I am not. He is the source of my strength and the author of my faith. I am nothing without that.

I've become a master at navigating the mine field of stress in my life.  God has been teaching me about blessing in burden.  Adversity has been the classroom of my life for about 7 years now.  But today, I stepped right into the snake pit of selfishness, and the pain inside spewed ugliness that shined a spotlight on the condition of my soul.  Stressor upon stressor coming from every direction and from multiple sources was more than I could bear today.  

Knowing and doing, knowledge and action, are not the same thing.  Today in a moment when all things came to a head, I did not call on Christ to steadily anchor me in the torrent; I raged against it.  It didn't take long for me to see the teaching moment.  The closer we get to God the more we realize how unlike him we really are.  The brighter his light gets, the more clearly we see our wretchedness.  Humbled low, I realized that God would use this moment in the refining process.  Can I expect to ever be immune to the sculptor's tools?  Can I be a masterpiece without the blight being chiseled away?  Would I want to be?  Absolutely not.

I'm grateful for this great God that shows us our condition and does something about it.  I'm blessed by a forgiving sister of blood and friendship who took the brunt of the spewing with grace.  I'm thankful that I can't be un-sistered like I bad friend on Facebook!  I'm thankful for the empty tomb for without it I would have no hope.

Happy Easter everyone!  He is Risen!

Today I'm sharing with:
Still Saturday

(Text on photos from Genesis 50)


  1. So beautiful my friend. We cannot become a Masterpiece without the chisel, and this is a life-long process. Have a blessed Easter!

  2. I do remember that beautiful post you wrote about your sister. This is another beautiful, thought-provoking testament on humankind in relation to God. We all have our moments. I think I might have more than the average, but I'm not about to give up. Let us all remember how mighty the God we serve truly is. Sending blessings to you this Easter day and I will be praying for you.

  3. Oh, Stephani, bless your heart! I've spent much of today thinking about the adversities in my life the past 4 1/2 years and how faithful God has been to me during this time. It has been such a painful time but a time that has taught me such a dependance upon HIM and for that, I am grateful. Blessings to you this Easter - may you feel His peace as you "go forth."

  4. So true and well expressed. During our drive home on Eqster we were listening to a dramatization of the Screwtape Letters. A discussion of adversity came up and Wormwood was being instructed on the way God uses the hard times to draw the believer close. The believer senses God's guidance; Wormwood was being instructed to increase temptations while his target was feeling low.

    Praise God that we have a risen Savior, he provides forgiveness and a way forward. We have a shield of faith.

  5. These are such good words! I've often had moments of needing adversity to grow.

  6. just hopped over here as your new neighbor at missional women's faith-filled friday link up, & i'm so glad i did. wow, is there ever so much i can relate to here (like ALL of it!). in the thickest of a health crisis i'm recovering from, i heard this quote, it has remained deep in my soul, & i couldn't help but think of it when i read this beautiful post of yours.

    "There's nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God and intended to do us good in the end. Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees. Health is a good thing, but sickness is far better if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one if it brings us to Christ."
    - J.C. Ryle

    thanks so much for the gift of your transparency here,

  7. What a blessing, Thanks so much!


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