Christians are often refined by God before being used by God. God is interested in the condition of our hearts, and it takes a certain amount of personal transformation before God's purpose for your life may be revealed to you. Thankfully, the biggest prerequisites for this transformation are nothing more than a desire to ask God into your heart, and the faith that He will show up to do His part. He will work with what He's given, and miracles will most certainly result. Such was the case in my life.
Often my prayer has been that of the Psalmist: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew a right spirit within me" (Psalms 51:10). Little did I know how that cleaning would occur, or what deep seeded anger God would find there. Of course, this is the beauty and mystery of God: He knew what He would find and was not the least bit surprised.
I entered into a period of dedicated prayer and fasting recently, believing that God would meet me in the midst of my weakness. I was not disappointed. I lost my temper on day four of a seven day fast. Angry, bitter hearts have a tendency toward impatience and loud outbursts, and my children were the recipients of my wrath on this particular day. As I slumped down on the floor in defeat, ashamed of my failure, God met me there.
My frustrations were extreme and I know I scared the kids with my volume. My daughter tried to talk to me and I just kept saying, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I got so angry. I'm sorry I yelled at you both. I'm sorry I ruined the day. I'm sorry I am such a failure."
And there, hanging in the aftermath of those words, was the truth behind my anger. I had failed my family; the people that mean the most to me in the world. The people I am meant to model Christ for. If Godly character is established in examples of what not to do, I was excelling.
That was my final breaking point. I sank down on the kitchen floor crying. I cried because I knew I had failed. I was angry because I had failed. Angry at myself, but taking it out on others. I cried and I prayed, and I heard a voice say, "You had One Job." At first it was very derisive; the tone was mocking. I believed my one job was to care for my family. But then God spoke over all the rest and asked me gently, "What is your one job, Karma?" And He directed my mind back to a verse in Scripture: Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).
My one job. It wasn't to get everything right. It wasn't to keep trying harder. It was to love God. Loving God in my life and my home meant loving my children. Loving God meant speaking soft words of encouragement, not spewing harsh vitriol. Loving God meant surrendering my desire to try harder.
Jesus found me on the kitchen floor in a huddled mess while leaning against the oven. The anger and frustration dissipated and a sense of peace overwhelmed me.
I had a vision of the end of my rope, dangling into dark nothingness. There was no where left to go. And that's when I finally experienced true surrender to Christ. At my darkest, hardest, and most unlovable moment, God broke through and showed me His way. Yes, it is my responsibility to care for my family and our home. But God has been telling me to quit trying and let Him take the lead. Finally, finally, I was able to let go. And when I asked how to love Him best, He showed me the faces of my son and daughter.
In that moment, I moved from trying to trusting, from doing to being. As I let go of the rope, the Spirit of God reached down and caught me in His everlasting love. I knew, going forward, that my life was changed. I had moved from attempting self-sufficiency to relying fully on Jesus to be my strength in every circumstance.
That moment on the kitchen floor did more than renew and repair my relationship with my children. It broke open my heart in a way that I had not experienced before. An act of true surrender will allow God to move in your life in ways that He was hindered before. In the gap between physical reality and mystical reality, I was learning what it meant to truly "live Christ everyday".
That day also opened up more than my heart. It helped me realize my purpose as a Christ follower and servant of God. I felt more freedom to be a light in the darkness. God had broken the chains of anger, and of fear, that had held me back for so long. Having been refined by God, I was better prepared to be a light in the world.
Karma writes from the golden house in Northeastern BC. You can connect with her online at redraincoatcreations.com