Today's insight is an offshoot from my Pastor's sermon yesterday morning. It has inspired me to write again, which is a huge deal because I have not written anything since November 2013. I said to a friend yesterday that I seriously feel as if God has, as in Job's day, said to the enemy "Have you considered my servant Joana?"
Yup, it's that hard. I feel as if God is stripping me bare and until yesterday's sermon, I was fighting it. But no more, because as my pastor reminded me yesterday, the grape becomes even more useful after it has been crushed in a wine press. In the wine making process, the grape is placed under pressure until it is crushed and everything pours out of it. It is litterally trampled and seemingly destroyed. Yet, the end result is beautiful wine that can be preserved for years to become even more remarkable.
I'm in the wine press season of my life - where God is really crushing all the juices out of me. I was complaining until I remembered that you get what you pray for. For a while now, I've been desperately praying, "God, change me", "God, fix me", "God, I don't like the person that I am", "God, take everything out of me that is not of you".
God is answering me. He's answering me by putting me in places and situations where I have no choice but to let go of all those things that are tripping me up. He's shown me an image of myself in the mirror and drawing big red arrows pointing at the things that have to go. This process is hard, it hurts, it's scary and incredibly lonely sometimes but I know God is faithful. He reminded me yesterday that He has heard me and the fact that I'm going through this means that is answering my desperate plea to make me less like me and more like Him.
So folks, let's learn with me as it's a learning process for all of us. Don't believe any Christian who appears to know everything about this life, no matter how long they've been Christians. If we stop learning, we will stop growing and that is dangerous.
So here are the lessons I've learned between November and now.
1. You get what you pray for. When you ask God to work on you, He will. Don't resist the process.
2. In order for us to get to the point where we are useful to God, we have to go through the molding/crushing/shaping process. That process hurts but it is absolutely essential. Again, don't resist the process.
3. God hasn't forgotten you. He is faithful to finish what He starts. He hears our prayers, and even when it seems as if he is not there, He is, working quietly in the background, doing exactly what we asked. Stay focused and you won't lose sight of Him and what He is doing.