When someone is writing an important paper, it usually starts with a draft copy. It then get edited and refined. Language is clarified, and phrases are sharpened to better express what the writer wants to convey. It is that same refining and clarifying process that our Lord is doing in each of us. We are God’s creation. He made us, and called us to be a part of Him through Christ Jesus. Throughout our life He works to mold us into His image, into the nature of Jesus. The difference between us and a manuscript is that we can resist the Refiner’s hand. Yet, in His patience and persistence, He continues to work in our life, and has given us the promise that He will not stop until we are complete. This is an ongoing and daily process. Let’s look with anticipation at how our Lord will work in us today.
Yesterday I remarked how much of God’s work in us, and in others, is a mystery. There is so much of the working of God’s Spirit that we don’t see. Yet, God understands that we are physical beings and need to see things with our eyes, and apprehend them with all our senses. He does show us all the wonders of nature. He does let us share in the miracle of birth. He does guide us by His written word, and by circumstances of life. He does come to us in the visible elements of our sacraments. God works in many unseen ways, but He has not left us without visible evidence. All that we see from His gracious hand strengthens our faith, and helps us rely upon Him even in all of the mysteries of life.
God’s work in us is always that of changing our hearts. The prophet Jeremiah had said, “The heart is deceitful above all thing and desperately corrupt, who can understand it.”(17:9) It is a truth we do not like to admit, but it is a truth that we see plainly both in ourselves and in the world at large. From the first time that we begin to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, God is at work within us to soften, cleanse, and change our hearts. He is our Father, not overbearing or forceful, but gentle, patient, and loving. He is at work daily to open the eyes of our hearts to the beauty and goodness of His life. His Spirit is actively working to move us from the false values and great fears of this life, to the riches and peace of His. Jesus gives us the invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Matthew 11:28-29) Trust your Father. He loves you and is working in you.
All the people at the Temple “were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”(Acts 3:10) A crippled beggar was healed at the entrance of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the people were amazed. We would be, too, but we really shouldn’t be. God is actively working around us and within in continually. Oh, yes, we want to pray a prayer, and see someone healed immediately. God does do this on occasion, but it is not His major work, nor is it a proof of His love and care. His care is shown by His daily activity in each life. Do not ever discount this. He is working in your circumstances for your good. He is changing your heart to look to Him, and trust Him more. You are not the same person you were a year or five years ago. God has worked a miracle to bring you closer to Himself. He guides you in thought, word, and action many times each day. This truly is a great miracle, and we should continually give Him praise.