You know what I mean - that lovely tool the dentist uses to get the gunk out from between your teeth and gums. The scrapey-thingy that makes a sound like fingernails going across a chalkboard, only you can't escape from it and make it stop because you are laying in a chair with a person hovering over you with a sharp scrapey-thingy.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, here's the deal. My dh preached a sermon two weeks ago and used this marvelous dentist's tool as an illustration. We can brush our teeth as often as humanly possible and do all we know to do to keep our teeth clean. Still, it is not good enough. We need a professional to get down in the nooks and crannies to get the bad stuff out so that our cosmetic/asthetic efforts are not in vain. No matter how hard we try, or how "good" we are, there is still junk in there. It's the same way with God.
We know what we need to do - pray, confess and repent of our sin, love others, meditate on His Word, etc. We might even do all of those things (sometimes all on the same day!) but there is still SOMETHING that we ignore or harbor or hide in our hearts, thinking that it's ok and that what we are doing is enough. Then God steps in and says that He is ready to take us a step further in our walk. No doubt, said growth will involve some pain. How much, I believe depends largely on us and how willing we are to be obedient. The more we fight Him and stamp our feet, the longer the journey.
Back to the scrapey-thingy. When God takes the scrapey-thingy to our lives, it is sometimes (often) painful. Yet, it is so very necessary. The gunk He is trying to scrape and rinse away from our lives will only hurt us in the end. The temporary discomfort of the cleaning process will generate great joy and eternal reward, if we are willing to let Him work.
Right now, God is using the scrapey-thingy on me. While I'm not particularly enjoying what I am going through, I am often reminded that it is for my own good. Once it's done and the nasty stuff is gone, I will have grown to be a bit more like Jesus- and that's a very good thing. Pray that I have a willing and obedient spirit - I don't want to be under the scrapey-thingy any longer than necessary!
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