Tag Archives: sanctification

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool

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Last week was rough. The following is a snapshot into my journal last Tuesday.


“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the bones that You have broken rejoice.”
-Psalm 51:7-8

Sometimes it feels like God is cleaning me with steel wool instead of the cotton washcloths I prefer.

As I write this, my heart aches. I’m crying and hurting. I feel broken by longings and unsaid words and independent realities and the delay of good dreams. 

“I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:75-77

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A Time to Embrace

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The conversation is seared into my brain.

We were at the kitchen table eating breakfast with my dad, studying Scripture, and processing how we are prone to see suffering as an inconvenience rather than what it is, love from God, when one of our best friends said,

“[Suffering] actually produces gold and then you level up (1 Peter 1:6-7), like in a video game, so you almost want to go find land mines joyfully and destroy them so we get more of Christ.”

For a couple of years, my constant prayer has been that I would not resist anything that would make me look more like Christ. But Daniel’s words at breakfast opened up a completely new (and convicting) perspective.

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Okay, Oswald, Okay

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God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with.

If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object.

-Oswald Chambers

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Growing Pains

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Growing pains.

They’re called pains for a reason.

They hurt.
Ache.
Burn.
Strain.
Torment.

They agonize and cause discomfort and distress.
…Especially when the pain occurs because of something you did.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 102 – What if he laughed at Jesus?

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Imagine being an invalid for 38 years. 

You live in Jerusalem and are an outcast of society.

You’re sickly and bedridden and no one will take you to the pool of Bethesda where you could potentially be healed.

And then one day this strange voice is directed at you, asking if you want to be healed.

Well, of course you want to be healed. That’s a silly question. But you explain how no one will take you to the pool and how you wouldn’t need only one person but two to help you in the water, and all the other reasons why you can’t be healed.

Does this sound familiar? It’s what happened in John 5 when Jesus approached this invalid, knowing he had been there a long time.

After the man lists the reasons he can’t be healed, Jesus said to him,

“Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” (John 5:8)

The next verse is crazy:

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Warming the Car Up

AprilSnowIt snowed in Paducah last night. And by snow I do not mean anything resembling the above photo. We got about five flakes, so schools were running on a two-hour delayed schedule to accomodate the Kentucky drivers who don’t know how to handle these harsh snow storms.

First, I should mention that I’m one of those drivers. I am terrified to drive when there is even the smallest possibility that there could be ice.

I digress.

Because schools were running on the delayed schedule, on my way to work this morning I passed a lot of teenagers standing at the end of their driveways or streets waiting for the bus.

But I also saw two others instances that warmed my heart despite the freezing temps.

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Pride

As I was browsing Instagram yesterday I came across the following. Conviction hit me hard. Then, as I repented of the mounds of pride in my heart and soul, Jesus’ grace flooded in and I was overwhelmed at His beautiful love and desire to sanctify me and make me more like Himself. Why do I so often resist His refinement?

“Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,
that we should be called the sons of God.” -1 John 3:1

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