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In Times Like These

“God doesn’t seek for golden vessels, and does not ask for silver ones, but He must have clean ones.”

Dwight L. Moody

This past week has been difficult for me, like it has for many people. I function better when I have commitments on my calendar. They serve as silent external motivators helping me get things done. The first few days of social distancing and staying home wreaked havoc with my emotions. I felt like I was in a fog, struggling to stay focused and upbeat. Information overload led to confusion and stumbling around as if I was lost, trying to find my bearings. It reminded me of what I experience during a fast.

Initially when I fast, there’s an internal tug-of-war going on within my heart. Even though I chose to fast, I’m screaming inside, “Noooo, I don’t want to do this!” I realize how dependent I am upon food. The beginning days of fasting brings out the worst in me and I’m shocked at what’s within my heart and the idols I readily cling to for support. Insecurity causes me to run to my idols of sweet and salty foods to comfort me. Times like these are used by God to show us our needs and to reveal to us our idols, in hopes of purification.

When metals experience intense heat, the dross or waste materials are separated and rise to the top. They’re extracted to leave a pure metal base. Times like these serve to refine us and to purify our hearts. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (II Corinthians 7:1). I don’t know what I depend on until I have it taken away. Instead of running to my idols, I need to run to the Lord, the only One who is able to give me comfort.

Freedom in fasting comes as we surrender our eating habits and lean upon God. Likewise, freedom comes in times like these when we surrender our hearts and trust God. The sooner we arrive at acceptance of our new normal lifestyle and give up the fight against social distancing, the sooner we will experience peace and contentment.

Allow the uncomfortableness to draw you nearer to God and to purify your hearts. Go ahead and scoot closer to the One who is sovereign, good, has chosen you, and set His love on you (Deuteronomy 7:7).

“There is only one being who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Oswald Chambers

Relevant Reflections:

  1. How have you struggled in times like these? 

  2. What idols has it brought to the surface?

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