This is the seventh installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I received a complimentary copy from Revive Our Hearts ministry just for sharing my thoughts on each chapter.
Chapter 7: "God's Jewels" by Joni Eareckson Tada
I've reached my favorite chapter of the entire book, the chapter written by Joni. The few things I've read of hers encourage me in the arena of suffering. She never fails to bring me to tears. If you don't know who Joni is, she is a quadriplegic of about 40 years and serves the Lord out of a lovely heart of humility.
As I write this entry, I am enduring a trial with my cat. I know that might sound trivial to some, but it's been slightly chaotic at my house the last couple days and I have been at my wit's end at times. Those of you who've been keeping up with me know that my cat has a urinary tract infection and has been struggling off and on for a couple weeks now. Understand that to watch your animal suffer is a trial.
Joni speaks of trials as God polishing His precious jewel. Genuine jewels can take a good scrubbing to bring forth the gleam and beauty of the gem, and so can God's disciples, His jewels.
Trial and adversity are the "scrubbings" our Lord gives us to bring forth His glory in our lives, to get rid of our impurities. He's refining us like gold. He's chiseling away those rough spots and fashioning us into beings that resemble the Lord Jesus.
So I've been pondering my own "scrubbing" while I go through this trouble with my cat, and I've thought about something that Joni said that has really struck me. In order to be changed, I must learn to hate sin, and that's what the scrubbing is about.
Yes, to be made like Jesus is to become kind and gentle and thoughtful and compassionate, but first--if you really want to be like Christ--you must learn to hate sin. To be like Jesus is to be made sinless.... God cares most, not about making us comfortable, but about teaching us to hate our transgression and to grow up spiritually--to love Him. That's the purpose behind the toothbrush--the refining, the chipping, the polishing.
I believe this is what God has been desiring to teach me in the last couple weeks and for this season. Everywhere I turn I keep hearing things about enduring suffering, learning obedience, and not despising the discipline of the Lord. Discipline is good for me. It's not that I've necessarily sinned and brought on a punishment in the discipline, but God knows the sinful thoughts and motives that reside in my heart and needs to draw them to the surface in order for me to recognize them and change. Discipline will do that.
What is it that God is showing me through the pressures of my sick cat? Well, it's very evident that I have an idol of wanting to be in control, and I am sooooo not in control in this situation. It forces me to run to God because He IS in control. It also creates a longing for Heaven because this disease is a result of our fallen world. All creation suffers because of sin. Maybe I'll live less for this world and more for Heaven in observing the brevity of life. Those are just a few things that come to mind.
So the next time you're getting a good "scrubbing", remember that you're God's precious jewel, and He is preparing you to shine... like His Son.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV)