• Sarah Johnson

She Walks in Refinement

All of Me for all You Are....


When I'm standing at the end of me In the rubble of my broken dreams And the wells I've dug aren't filling me And the world I've made's not what it seems to be My life, Your grace Here I exchange


You're the anchor in a raging sea In the center of the storm You are my peace You're the dreamer of my destiny And all You have begun You will complete

Your life, my gain Here I exchange


All of me for all You are I lay at Your feet my broken heart And I'll find my healing in Your scars All of me for all You are

Casting Crowns, words and music by Jason Ingram/John Mark Hall


We were driving through the beautiful eucalyptus forests of Half Moon Bay when this song came on our speakers. It had been a particularly difficult week in ministry, and we were pretty low in our spirits. The words stirred my heart like never before, and with tears in my eyes and an ache in my soul, I surrendered to the refinement God was doing in our lives. Earlier, God had led me to Psalm 66 in my Bible reading, and I began meditating on this of portion of the passage:


"For you, O God, have proved us; You have refined us, as silver is refined. You brought us into the net, you have allowed people to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, but You brought us out into a well-watered place....Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me, but certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His mercy from me."


Many of us, if not all of us have walked through the fires and waters of refinement this past year. You have experienced financial, physical, social, or emotional loss in one or more of these areas. Will you surrender these experiences to God's refining process? Take a moment and ponder the words the Psalmist uses to describe his actions while he acknowledges God's refinement in his life - declare, cried, extolled.


He first declares what God has done for his soul. What can you declare that God has done for your soul? How about salvation? How about the knowledge that He alone is the Lover of your soul?


He then cries to the Lord. I believe here the Psalmist cries in prayer for God's mercy, for His ear to be open to His prayer, for the Lord to bring him to the well-watered places and out of the fires and waters of trial. What is the cry of your heart today? What are you asking of God in anguished pleas to bring you out of? Do you believe He is listening? Do you believe that His mercy will extend to you? The Psalmist speaks with assurance that God will not turn him away nor will He refuse to bestow mercy.


He extols God with his mouth. This word extol means to praise enthusiastically. It's hard to praise God when we are going through the fires of refinement, and most often it is the last thing we want to do. However, I cannot even begin to tell you the lifting up of my soul when my heart is channeled in praise to God. True worship of God puts a proper perspective on Who He is and how we are known by Him personally. It gives us assurance of His character and causes us to yield to the refinement process.


Go with me one more time to the passage. Look at what the Psalmist says confidently about God:

He is proving us...

He is refining us ....

He is hearing us...

He is attending to us....

He is not turning away from us...

He is merciful towards us....


Wow! This is not some vague description of a far out god, but this is a proven history of a real and personal God. Thank Him today for His faithful presence and listening ear through refinement. Whatever you are facing today, you can trust Him, for He is worthy of your confidence in Him.


I have loved this verse from Job for so many years, and it seems appropriate for this topic; "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10. The refining process always yields something precious and valuable. So it is for the refinement of Christians. God puts us through the fires and waters to bring us to a precious reward - a life of walking closer with Jesus.




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