Purification, Sanctification, and Transformation
My heart is heavy within me. My words are too futile to obey. If I could hide from your chastening, I would. If I could climb the tree of ignorance and nestle among the branches of complacency, my flesh would gladly approve.
But, your fire is hot. It burns white against my will, against my ways, against my flesh. There is so much dross. There is so much of ME still left within this vessel. My complaining rises to your throne. Yet the fire still burns- hotter this time. In this kiln my spirit is crying- sobbing for relief. I am dying. All of my impurities are rising to the surface. My family sees- the world sees- my enemy sees. The dross is dark and heavy. It is like a chain around my heart. You pour it off and the load seems lighter for a season- yet in time another pouring will take place.
I cannot sit along the bank of this river when I know you are asking me to dive in. Yet, I know that if I do, I will be carried away to a land I have not heard of, to a place I have not seen. The water is rushing by me- chipping away at the rough edges of this vessel. I am going down for the third time. My complaining rises to your throne. Yet, the water rises higher. I am dying. The water that rushes around me has become my grave. SELF rises to the surface. The only remedy to resurrect this lifeless frame is your breath of life breathing into the very part of who I am. Somewhere deep within me - where only you can hear- my spirit begins to cry. It is ever so faint- used to the years of the flesh having control- yet, now because the flesh lies lifeless in the glory of your presence- its voice gone- its emotions gone- its ways gone- my spirit can now be heard. It tells you that I welcome this. It grows louder with each cry and now all that is heard is the declaration of freedom.
I feed upon your faithfulness. Every word that proceeds from your mouth is my food. The seasons of life come and go- yet, I find wrapped tightly around me are the walls of this cocoon. It restricts me from movement. It forces me to stay in this place. I have no choice but to rest. "Rest in ME." I hear you say. "Sleep, my beloved. Be still," are the words that pierce my heart. "Cease from striving, cease from controlling, cease from struggling." My complaint rises to your throne. I am being transformed. Though winter storms rage all around me, I am safe in this season. I am safe in this shelter where you are transforming me into your image. I am assured that Spring will come and the cocoon will slightly open. It is no longer my shelter. It is a NEW season. Because I have been transformed, it beckons to hold me captive. It desires to keep me complacent within its walls. Yet, your voice is calling me out. I PRESS against the walls that hold me and emerge upon the other side. Delicately I feel your breath blowing against my wings. You say so lovingly, "You are beautiful, little butterfly."
I long to see the result of my transformation. Yet, your hand holds me steady. I hear you say- "Seek my face." With desperation and passion I lift my wings as your breath of life lifts me higher and higher until I am looking into your eyes. And there in that moment, in the hour of destiny- I see myself- formed into your likeness. This has all been for a reason. This has all come to pass for a reason, the firing of the vessel, the drowning of the flesh, the pressing of the cocoon. It has all been brought upon me for a purpose. So, I WAIT to hear from you. Softly you declare, "Go, little butterfly- REPRODUCE." Delicately you blow against my wings and send me forth-- taking the seed of your word to a hopeless generation. And as the sun glimmers against the beauty of my wings- I AM FREE!!
The fire purifies, the water sanctifies, the cocoon transforms.
FIRE-- Job 23:10But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous].
WATER--Ephesians 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Colossians 3:9,10 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
COCOON-- 2 Corinthians 3:17,18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.