Our Faith in the Making
by Melanie Stevenson
A few years ago, I battled through a two-year health crisis that literally brought me to my knees. Ultimately, God used those months of suffering to reveal to me the degree of my faith and the extent to which I trusted Him. I had no idea when it would end, or if I would ever get better, but, as a result, I learned to trust Him more fully. Through the painful unknowns, my faith was refined.
Some of the trials we experience are so lengthy they seem to chisel away at our faith; and amid our struggle, we worry whether what is left of it will remain intact. But what if the exact opposite is occurring? What if the painful breaking is instead remaking us? What if the bits we see falling to the ground are the parts that were never meant to be there in the first place? What if the painful removals are forming a masterpiece?
Passing through painful circumstances is never easy, but the Sculptor of our lives knows that certain trials are necessary to shape us. We would needlessly drag along the cumbersome weights of this world, but the Creator would have us lighten our load. We might project rough edges, but the Sculptor smooths them. If the chiseling seems uncomfortable—or even unbearable at times—we can take comfort in knowing that it will result in remarkable beauty.
During the process, we see a dusty mess or, more often, nothing at all. But the Sculptor sees the end before He even begins. He has a vision for the masterpiece in the making. God loves His creation too much to leave us untouched by His loving workmanship. With utmost care and precision, He fashions us into His likeness—His fingerprints over every facet of our being.
If we don’t understand why He chooses to leave certain parts longer than others, if He hews off things we deem precious, or if we can’t see the beginning from the end with our limited vision, we can continue to trust that compared to us He is infinitely more skilled. The Lord tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8), so why do we question His work or attempt to wrestle the chisel from His hand? We get into trouble when we begin hacking off parts of our own choosing or gathering back the pieces that have already been removed.
That is where faith comes in. When we endure the trial, trusting our Maker is forging priceless beauty even when the process is painful or messy and when we cannot see the beginning from the end. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We may not be able to see anything good at this moment, but we can trust God when He tells us He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), that He will be with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), and that He protects us (Psalm 91:4). We can be confident that one day we will see with our eyes what we believe in our hearts.
The past few months of uncertainty have been challenging for many. COVID-19 has forced us to endure various disappointments and difficulties, some that have had the propensity to chisel away at our faith, leaving us feeling uneasy, weary or broken. Even though we may not be able to visualize the end quite yet, it is my prayer that we will look with eyes of faith and allow God to use this hardship to fashion further beauty within us.
As we launch into this new year, we can take comfort “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). We can traverse into this next year being confident that we are in Christ’s intimate care. Even if circumstances in our lives appear messy or look to be falling apart, maybe they are instead falling into place. Perhaps this year is yet another opportunity for us to trust God like never before and another chance to deepen our faith.
Melanie Stevenson lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Ralph, and four children. An avid gardener, painter, and blogger, she has written two books. One More Tomorrow is her debut novel, and Soul Focus – Trials is her first devotional. She recently won Best Canadian New Author at the Word Awards and Best Romance Novel for One More Tomorrow. You can find out more about her books and visit her blog at melaniestevenson.com or find her on Instagram @melaniestevensonauthor.
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