A few years ago, I listened to a keynote by Lysa TerKeurst entitled, "Let God Chisel." She gave us this sheet of paper that I still have hanging up in my office. It says:
My pride says, "How dare you!"
My anger says, "You deserve the same hurt you gave me."
My heart says, "Why do I open myself up like this?"
My soul says, "Jesus, am I off base?"
My mind says, "I want a chance to explain."
My feelings say, "Ouch. I'm cutting you off."
My Holy Restraint says, "Let God chisel."
This concept of letting God chisel has been something I've had to apply over and over again in my life. Whether it be through friends, family, work, or personal goals I've had to diffuse what my initial thoughts are and give all my questions to my Holy Restraint to handle. Friends, this hasn't been easy.
This past year, I haven't really wanted to go through the chiseling process. I knew it was going to happen - whether I wanted it to or not - but I still wasn't looking forward to it. Instead of being in admiration of God, I was more often infuriated with God. Ugh, awful, I know. But, it's true. Many times I would say stuff like, "God, pleassseee let's just get on with it. I'm tired of this."
I heard recently where someone's mama told them that the reason we go through hard stuff is not because "God only gives us as much as we can handle" but because God is trying to teach us something if we listen to him through our agony. I'd have to say that girl has one wise mama.
But choosing to listen is a lot harder than complaining. It takes Holy Restraint.
After I had my temper tantrum with God, I'm beginning to hear his voice again. He is telling me to obey him, much like I ask my twins to obey me. He is reminding me of his love, his faithfulness, his plans for my life. While I fought the chiseling process; I slowly took a detour away from his love, faithfulness, and plans. But, now that I'm accepting it, I'm being reminded what life is all about.
The key to life is loving God, loving yourself, and loving others. I haven't been doing a very good job at any of those and I'm thankful that is beginning to change. I'm learning that loving God is about letting his chisel me so I receive more lessons about life from him. Loving myself is about believing in my life's purpose and living in it instead of doubt and downheartedness. Loving others is more about listening to their needs instead of using them to fit my needs. Life isn't meant to be lived selfishly. Life is meant to be loved.
I don't know how God is chiseling you right now. Maybe you aren't getting something you wanted or maybe you got something you wanted but you still don't feel right. Maybe someone has said mean things about you or maybe you've had to love someone in their most unlovable moments. Whatever it is, I want you to remember that God is with you and he is working on you.
As Lysa said, "Let God chisel."
Till next time, let your light shine!