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Monday, May 21, 2007

How is our faith tested?

Most people think that our faith, our character, our morals, our parenting and our goals are all tested by the "big" stuff we face. Things like financial setbacks, cancer, car accidents, affairs or a rebellious child.

I have no problem facing the big stuff. I have worked with a lot of people while they handled the big stuff and though it was difficult - there seemed to be a sort of adrenalin that came along with the fact that it was "the big one". That surge helped them get through it. They may have kicked, screamed and cried - but they accepted the challenge.

The true testing - the really hard ones that topple our tall tree of faith - comes in the form of tiny indentations. I've watched incredibly strong men and women with dedicated families fall apart with the smallest challenge.

Dr. Ken Crocker - my Dad - gave a wonderful sermon called, "Don't let the beetles get you". He wasn't talking about the singing group. It was about how the little irritations in life get under your skin and begin to fester. Before you know it, that irritation has grown into a full blown problem. Do you know how beetles can take down large trees? They simply eat the inside until it is so brittle so lacking in strength that the outside shell can't support the weight of the tree.

While discussing a problem with a friend I also saw God's leading in a different way. I've heard it preached that "we are carved in His image." I have loved that thought. In my mind I imagine a loving God chip... chip... chipping away at my rough exterior. Talking to this friend however, I wondered if there are times when God needs to do some sandblasting.

Maybe God has chipped away the large chunks and we are basically the image He wants. But to be truly in his image he has to remove the smallest edge possible. He not only wants us to be smooth - He wants us to shine. Perhaps when that little beetle has made tiny indentations and God needs to remove only the smallest amount he brings out the sandblaster, the sander or the sand paper.

Be very still.

Don't move.

Hold your breath.

God is changing you.

God is making you better.

God is refining you to walk in His image.

Bend to His will.

Let Him help you shine.

God loves you,


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