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Surrendering to God During Trials
Rubbing Out the Spots
"God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child's garments." William Gurnall
I love to collect quotes and this is a favorite. Think of it, what do our trials do but rub the sin and self-centeredness that sticks to and stains our natures. I love it that He'd rather see holes in our garments, than spots. What is the difference between a hole and a spot? A hole to me means “imperfect”, something is missing. But a spot represents impurity - sin. So God sets to rubbing (adversity). Not that He causes the adversity, but He allows it, and rubs us in the process to refine us. The more the impurity, the more he rubs. One might say, "That's so unkind," but it's love. Out of love the Father allows suffering and trials shape and mold us into the men and women He calls us to be. We don't learn and transform through comfort and ease.
God wants us to be more like Him. Oswald Chambers once said in his book, Psychology of Redemption, "God is not making hot-house plants, but sons and daughters of God, men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ." Through the process of rubbing, the impurities are lifted, and God’s character comes through. We come through the rubbing stronger and purer than before. When we are stubborn, and get impatient and blame God or turn to everyone but Him, we may have to go through more rubbing. I have had a year where God has had to do lots of rubbing on me. No sooner do I think it’s over then God comes with His scrub board again. “Am I really that stubborn?” “Am I really so dense?” I ask. God says, “I have a lot to show you, and a lot to do with and through you.” One of the biggest things I have learned is that I need to be totally dependent upon God always and forever.
God is not making hot-house plants, but sons and daughters of God, men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ."— Oswald Chambers - Psychology of Redemption
Stop blaming start surrendering
Have you ever noticed that we humans like to play the blame game? I have that problem once in awhile. When the rubbing starts, I sometimes whine or complain to God that so and so is causing this problem, or I ask God why He is allowing this trial to happen to me. I am sure that one sends God to either gagging or chuckling. It’s not the circumstances I am supposed to be looking at; it’s not about whose doing what to whom; it is not about how supposedly well you are serving Him; it is only about what God is doing in me through the process of adversity. There is a saying I recently heard that said, "Live in the solution not the problem." What is the solution? Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
Over and over in the Bible, we are told that trials produce patience, glory to God, and make us more like Him. Read on:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 3:6-7).
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:1-4).
Are you being rubbed today? Are you resisting, or yielding to God? Take it moment by moment if necessary and place yourself at His feet. Surrender your circumstances and your life to Him. I am still in process, learning right along with you. Turn to Jesus, who made you, and is in the process of making you more like Him.