But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner's fire
And like launderers' soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver,
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.
A good book comes to an end . . . we pick up the next best seller.
Summer ends . . . we pull out the fall decorations, buy the kids new shoes and clothes, meet new teachers, and enjoy shorter days.
A career path ends . . . so we learn different skills, meet new people, commute east instead of west.
A relationship ends . . . we say goodbye with our words or our hearts and we move on, and we move through the pain until eventually it begins to dull and the void becomes the new normal.
But what happens when a different kind of end comes? What happens when you get to the end of YOURSELF?
This is when the chapter ends but your story isn't over. You don't like the way the story is progressing but you realize for the first time you can't fix you. It might be time to switch authors.
You get to the end of yourself when a season comes to an end and moving forward cannot be endured anymore by simply changing the look of your surroundings or buying new things. Changing churches or hanging out at a new club will no longer suffice because you realize it isn't about them but it is about you, so you find yourself alone in darkness and isolation.
The end of yourself comes when there is a fork in the road. One way looks disgustingly familiar and the other is terrifyingly new, yet in your desperation you are almost ready to step into that fear.
Stepping into that fear means you may need to look at yourself as you see you and learn to say goodbye to each old part. Surrendering the authorship of your story over to the Lord and walking a new path means you have finally arrived at the end.
The end of YOURSELF.
It is here you find yourself standing at the door of the Refiners home and when you knock the door will be opened.
Some of you know what I am talking about because you have taken the full experiential tour of the Refiner's home and come out a changed person. Others of you may be fully content walking down your own familiar path where you control the twists and turns and are in no way ready to change the scenery. And then there may be a few of you standing at that door with your hand up, fingers curled under, knuckles white with tension waiting for that burst of courage to explode in a resounding knock
I found myself at the Refiner's door one evening a few years back. I had gotten to the end of myself. This is what the end of myself looked like:
As you choose to surrender yourself to the Lord and allow Him to become the Author of the next chapters in your story I just want you to know. . .
It is not an easy process but it is worth it.
The journey may not be pretty but it will produce something beautiful.
The cold hard truths you face are buffered by the goodness and gentleness of the Lord
Grief released and loss accepted will bring you to a place of freedom like you have never experienced.
The Lord wants to fill the loneliness with His presence, so embrace it and receive more of Him.
In the fire of the trials and the battles to believe His word, triumph over sin, and pursue righteousness you will not be consumed
Because His compassions fail not."
"May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace" in 2014! (Numbers 6:24-26)
From the Heart,