On Being Molded

So I was talking to a group of friends from Christian Associates tonight about the past year of our lives. I haven’t really written much on my blog about this past year. When I don’t know how to communicate what’s going on in my heart/mind/soul I just don’t even try. But the truth is, this year has been incredibly challenging and molding for me. This has certainly been the most unique year of my life. I have never ‘accomplished less’…well maybe other than my freshman year of college…and I have never had ‘less to do.’ It’s hard to describe this past year other than I feel like God gave me a very simple job description: wait on Me. 

Now, for me, I like to have things defined. I like for even complex things to be arranged and for there to be a clear objective and goal. But waiting? Seriously God? Couldn’t you have given me something a bit more tangible? A bit more explicable to people? Trust me, it’s not east to describe to others what this time has been like. Waiting on God has been the most difficult discipline that I have ever practiced. (Fasting has to be up there as I have never managed to fast for more than 12 hours…and even then I thought more about eating at a Chinese food buffet than I did about seeking God…I digress)

So…what I’m getting at is this. I’ve been molded into something that I didn’t see coming. I was telling Jen tonight in the car that I’m finally feeling like my old self, but only I’m not my old self…I’m like this new hybrid Justin…my time in Paris has forever molded me. In the successes and the trials God was there, redeeming every experience, and every day moving me closer to a heat source…These experiences both the good and the bad were preparing me to undergo a transformation. Most of the time we believe that our ‘failures’ are what eventually end us in God having to turn up the heat on our lives…leading to him having to remold us…or fix what is broken. But I no longer believe that God only works and repairs what is broken. Our successes also move us towards trust, and because God cares about us He wants us to be molded and grow. But the best molding happens when the heat is on…

I believe that God brings the heat in our lives when He is moving us towards change, maturity, and greater trust. 

The sad thing is that most of see heat or fire as a way that God punishes us…and when we’ve learned our lesson then the heat goes away. And subsequently God grows us up. But that’s not the point. Our poor behavior is not the catalyst for God to grow in us. It’s His love for us and His grace for us that make God the interactive God that He is. The heat will come into our lives at any time because God knows what circumstances we best grow in. That’s what I’m getting at. I’m tired now. 

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  1. Mom on May 24, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that joy comes in the morning?

  2. Christine on May 25, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Yes…God is still shaping and molding you (and all of us, as a matter of fact). I’m so thrilled with the attention you’re giving Him…and as a result, drawing from the deep source of His well. What a blessing that you’ve had this time of ‘rest’ (ha!) to process His work in you. How amazing, when we Americans put so much stock in ‘working’, that God often blesses most obviously in our being still. Hmmmm. There’s a little something to ponder :-).

  3. miss paula on May 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    In one of the Beth Moore studies that I facilitated, she spoke on how when we are serving in one area, God may be preparing us for the next thing he wants us to do. I hadn’t really thought of this at the time but as we grow and mature he gives us more to do! Exciting!

    I enjoyed talking with you and re-meeting you and your wife Jen. When I was a little girl hearing about missionaries or what people were doing in different countries for the Lord was boring. But now, I love to hear about what people are doing and how God is using them. I so enjoyed hearing a little about what you are doing and where you are going next. Thanks for taking the time to speak with Robert and I.

    Please keep us up-dated with your newsletter!

    Blessings to you, Paula McElrath
    Miss Paula
    [email protected]

  4. David - admin extraordinaire on May 26, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Oh Justin, I am so encouraged by your last three posts…and you know I don’t read blogs. I am SO excited. YEAH! Can’t wait for you to get back here again so we can do coffee again. love ya’


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