Thursday, October 24, 2019
As I contemplated yesterday’s devotional, the Lord brought to my mind a specific “fire” in which He put me. It would be a test of my patience and a refining of my humility. It started the day I brought my dad home to my house following surgery so I could care for him. The plan was it would just be for overnight. It turned into eight long days. A consequence of going off all his medication in preparation for the surgery was a severe case of gout that invaded both knees, making him completely immobile. He was unable to walk or rise to a standing position on his own. He needed to be lifted so he could move from one place to another.
God used that time to dissect my heart. I was so unaware of my selfishness. I was so blinded to the way I had built a life of comfort for myself. I discovered that I had been in control of what I did and when I did it. God used my dad’s physical needs to humble me, and boy did I need humbling.
One day during his stay I came to a critical point of surrender, realizing that at any time God should be able to interrupt me and invite me into His work and I will accept His invitation. There can be nothing in this life that is so important that it causes me pain to surrender it for the sake of the King. There can be no possession so precious that I grieve over its loss. There must be no activity or pursuit so significant that the thought of not being able to do it causes me to shed a tear. I must and I will be able to say with the Apostle Paul that I consider all things rubbish compared to the excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
That night, as I prepared my dad for bed, we both noticed that his feet smelled. We laughed about it, but it was bad. His special elastic support socks he wears to prevent swelling and cellulitis had not been changed for a week. So as he sat in his wheelchair, I carefully removed his socks. Then in a warm basin of water and gentle soap, I washed my dad’s feet and legs. As he sat there, he simply said, “You are doing a very Biblical thing, just like Jesus.” At that moment there were no thoughts of anything else I could have been doing. I was doing the work God had prepared for me to do, and I was doing it with a heart that He had also prepared.
The next morning, dad woke up early. When I walked into the room there was a gleam in his eyes and a smile on his face. As I pulled back the blankets, he lifted his legs. He rolled to a sitting position all by himself. When I put the walker in front of him, he grabbed it and stood up. He took a few steps to the center of the room and stood there the whole time I helped him get dressed. Then, with his walker, he walked all the way to the living room and got into his lift chair unassisted.
When I arrived at my office that morning, my devotional Bible was opened to these words in Isaiah 25:
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things… let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.
Life has a different perspective when we trust the Refiner’s fire to bring out the reflection of Christ.