Here’s the scene: it’s dark out, the moon is but a sliver in the sky…you are startled by a blood-curdling scream. All of a sudden it’s muffled. Your heart beats faster as you begin to make out the scene through a window. There is a small body thrashing about and you see the rise of a large body and then it sits. It sits on top of a little boy. You see the man sitting on this boy’s legs holding down one arm, a lady holding tight to the other arm and clamping her hand over the young boy’s mouth. You hear the man and lady exchange some words, and then the boy is released—just for a moment. He comes up for air, and you can hear him clearly now, though his voice is broken and weak.
“Momma, did you get it? Is the sliver out now?” That’s right: this scene does not take place in some torture chamber, rather this is my son’s bedroom. And, no, we are in no way trying to hurt this little boy; but, because we love him so much, we’d like to remove the small splinter from his hand so that it doesn’t become infected. I had some mixed feelings as this event unfolded. Part of me was thinking, “Well, fine! He doesn’t want us to take it out—let it fester in there then! Is this really worth it?”
And then, when I hear his sweet voice, speak my name so trusting and affectionately, I realize that, yes, he does want it out. He just is having a hard time with the process. Fear is controlling his will to submit. It provoked me to think about the slivers in my life. Spiritually speaking, what are the things in my life that God may be trying to remove? How simple, or hard am I making the process? Am I believing that God’s intentions are to harm me, or to help me?
Luke 22 is where Jesus is on the mountainside praying to God to take this cup of death from Him. Man, Jesus did not want to obey. He didn’t want to suffer and die; but, he was more concerned about pleasing his Father than himself. His process was pleading and praying and…sweating blood. He did not throw a fit. He dealt with the splinters of the whole world with grace.
I want to be like Him. How can I deal with things gracefully—submitting to the Father’s will like Christ? I don’t want to throw a fit and thrash around when God wants to take care of a little something that could turn into a big something.
When there is a lie that I’m eager to believe, or an unhealthy desire of the flesh He’s calling me to deny, I want to be able to submit to God’s will: to his good intentions for me.
Read John 15:1-17: ”Remain in me, as I also remain in you.” Once we live in the Spirit, He remains in us so that we can do all things through Him. We can endure the removal of the sliver with grace; we can endure the pruning because we know, even subconsciously, that it will make us more beautiful and become thankful for our tribulations. When we remain in Him, we know that choosing flesh we bear no fruit: that the consequences of ignoring him—of doing things without remaining in him—result in withering away.
If you open up the Bible now and read Romans 6:15-23 you can ask yourself if you’ve made yourself a slave to sin- or to righteousness? Verse 20 claims, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.” What benefit did you reap at that time from things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. “ Now realizing that we have been set free from the slavery of sin—we either choose to stay in sin, or we become slaves to obedience that leads to righteousness. I love the language that is used. We become slaves to obedience. In other words, that obedience owns us! It’s like once we have really given up ourselves—really been set free—those little decisions we are faced with each day aren’t a challenge. It’s just obvious what we are to do—and easy to do it—because obedience is our master, we automatically submit. And, when our God gently takes tweezers to our finger, we can submit. We submit eagerly and gratefully; for God’s intentions for us are always good.