Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Refiner's Fire

Years ago at a couple's retreat, a wife shared that her husband brought out the worst in her.  Initially, my internal response was startled.  It seemed like a harsh thing to say even in a safe place.  But then this dear woman went on to tell of how God had used her most intimate human relationship to most frequently be the fire in her life.  That intense, consistent fire that allows the gunk to come to the top of the gold.  To be skimmed, removed, rooted out.  Her husband was a gentle, strong man and their marriage was God-honoring--after years of therapy and diligence.  He was her great blessing.  

Several times, today alone, I have thought this child brings out the worst in me!  In the moment, I certainly was in my flesh and not thinking of the Lord's refining fire.  I was thinking, "until this child, I was a patient person," "until now, I felt calm and easy going," "until this child, I was doing okay."  It was pure frustration.  

But now in the quiet of the day, after regulation, repentance, prayer, calm and a sleeping child, I see that she does in fact bring out the worst.  The absolute very worst in me.  They are the hidden, dark things that the Lord still sees.  The fleshy worst that I was identifying earlier was the same, but now with different purpose.  His purpose.  His desire for the shining, radiant gold.  Through this child.  Oh, Lord, helps us to keep Your perspective and see these horrible parenting moments as opportunities to reflect Your glory.


Kathy C. said...

I understand.

I never though of myself as an angry person but I got to the point that I was angry all the time. I hated what I saw in myself.

A friend told me to pour out my frustrations to God each night so that my mercies, like God's, would be new every morning. Well, he took the anger and helped me not take things so personally but I have a long way to go on my mercies being new every morning.

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless. So many times I wish I could put into words the feeling of "being the worst" and the reasoning behind it. My little one has brought the worst out in me...and I can't tell you how many times I collapsed on the kitchen floor and just sobbed while my husband rocked me back and forth and tried to comfort me. There was no one to reach out to, after all, I was supposed to be the happiest person alive, to have received the gift of a child that I had waited YEARS for...

I'm going on and on, I know...don't mean to, I'm just sooo thankful to realize I'm not the only mama on her to have felt so know what I mean?

Simply Moms said...

Oh, Kathy, isn't it so hard?? We strive for new mercies but when it is all day, every day, it is so hard to not let the past dictate/predict/affect the new day. :(

Simply Moms said...

Anon-beloved, you are not alone. this is such a hard calling. I've had those floor sobbing moments, too. I have to cling to Jesus because I wouldn't make it. I feel like such a failure so often!! Press on!

truevyne said...

I can certainly relate. My son brings out the very worst and truly the very best parts of me. Here's a quote I keep by my computer which helps me.
"My faults are deeper then I care to imagine, but I will never see the need others really have until I dare to consider my own true nature. If I do not consider my own causes for shame, I will judge others instead of loving them. I will distance myself from them instead of recognizing how our mutual needs unite us. I will look down on them instead of embracing them. I will stand aloof, rather than eye to eye. If I stop seeing the person I really am in my mirror, I will stop seeing the faces of others; and then the care that is the vehicle of the Gospel will not flow from me." Bryan Chapell in The Wonder of it All