I heard Andrew Peterson perform a few weeks ago. The guy’s profound and thoughtful, and I ended up scribbling a bunch of notes on the back of a pew envelope because I wanted to remember all his nuggets of wisdom.
He spoke of a season of suffering that he railed against at first. No one likes to suffer, of course (masochists notwithstanding…).
Yet before long, Peterson began realizing that God was using the suffering to make him a better man.
“God uses suffering to shape us into the kind of people he wants us to be,” he said. “And I don’t like it, but it’s just kind of true.”
Paul puts it this way in Romans 5:
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
There’s a method to God’s madness, a point to the pain.
It isn’t easy. It isn’t fun.
It’s just true.
I’ll admit that I have more than a few rough edges. Patience is not my strong suit. I’m often more concerned with my projects than with people. I see my messy kitchen more easily than I notice my kids longing for a moment with a book and a blanket.
That’s just the start.
But in each season of difficulty, I find my sharper edges beginning to wear away with the sandpaper of God’s refining grace.
What shape are you in these days? What rough edges do you have that God, in his great kindness, is working to wear away?