From Devotions for the Beach
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. – Daniel 11:35 NIV
Usually, driftwood forms when trees or large, wooden objects have been swept away by the sea either by natural or human efforts. The pieces that make it back to shore are smooth to the touch and are often used as decorative pieces or furniture. Other pieces anchor the foundation of a sand dune, with its former life a thing of the past.
But a lot of driftwood doesn’t make it back to shore. It’s eaten by bacteria and organisms, and it eventually disintegrates while it drifts. A lot like what happens to us when we remain in a quandary of doubt: our stomachs churn, and we can feel as though we’re being eaten from the inside out. What better way for the enemy to render us useless than to have us doubt our faith?
We may question if we were ever faithful in the first place. We might second-guess our motives or wonder if this Christian life is really worth it. Maybe God let us down and we’re angry with Him—to the point that we’re not speaking to Him. Or we drift because life is actually going very well—we’re distracted by our new promotion, or new boyfriend, or new home, for example—so we adopt this idea that we must be doing something right, and we can therefore lighten up on living out our faith. We think that perhaps we don’t need Him for everything, after all.
Then there is another reason for drifting: God’s people—or those who masquerade as God’s people—let you down. Sometimes, we’re so fragile that all it takes is an unfriendly exchange with a greeter, neglect from a leader, or judgment from a church clique to send us packing. After all, why would we want to follow a Savior whose followers act that way? And they’re the ones who represent Him?
Stay faithful. If you’re hurting, stay hopeful. Pray and give thanks to God for the opportunity to grow; ask Him to shed light, ask Him for clarity. If you’re experiencing a season of blessings, don’t discount the Provider; invite Him to celebrate with you.
You will eventually drift, and you will eventually make it back to shore and into His loving arms. And when you do, having been purified and renewed, your knots smoothed and heart supple, you’re prepared to anchor a foundation for another drifter in similar circumstances. And your former life is a thing of the past.
Lord, I have drifted away. These are lessons that I know, but lessons I have not truly learned. Search my heart and cleanse it. Show me a better way—so that I may help someone else who is struggling in the same way. Thank you for this opportunity to grow, Lord—let me not lose heart that You are in this, so I need not fear what I may be facing.
From Grace for the Moment®: Morning and Evening Edition by Max Lucado
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