I was reading a book recently where a mother is sharing wisdom with a young bride-to-be. She shared that there will come a day when her charming husband will say or do something that will hurt and that how she reacts or responds to it will affect their marriage. The husband was a carpenter and the young woman's father was a carpenter as well. So the wise mother told her that God uses a husband like sandpaper to smooth out her rough edges and shape her into what God would have her to be. Instantly I reflected back to moments with Jim that I could identify as sandpaper moments. I can see more clearly now how the Lord was using Jim to sand certain "rough edges" down in me. Then I thought to the present. How does this work in my life now? A few paragraphs later the author shared how the absence of a husband is also sandpaper................let me repeat that because I didn't get it the first time.......the absence of a husband is also sandpaper.
Now there is a new way to look at widowhood!
As I pondered this, I also thought of people God has brought into my life to sandpaper me. Faithful friends that tell me truth and what I need to hear not just what I want to hear. One of these people is my pastor. Now some people call a hard message as "in your face" or one that "stepped on my toes." I decided I am going to call them "sandpaper sermons." I know that God, who loves me more than I'll ever understand, uses these tough messages to smooth out my rough edges and shape me into what He wants me to be. That is, if I respond to this sandpapering with a meek and humble attitude. How I choose to respond does affect my relationship with God. If I take it as attack instead of in love, I better prepare myself that rougher sandpaper will be needed the next time.