Three months ago, almost to the day, I set out to have a great adventure with God. I left behind almost all the people and things that used to mean ‘home’ and headed out into the wild blue yonder, hoping and trusting that God had my back.
I was sure that taking this leap was going to strengthen my faith and bring me closer to Him. But as the days trickled into weeks and months, I felt my strength melting away and my faith felt weaker than ever.
I couldn’t figure out why all my best laid plans were crumbling. I had felt so well prepared, so eager to showcase God’s greatness. I felt like I’d spent months, maybe even years, sculpting this offering of a good Christian heart to lay at the feet of my King.
Imagine my hurt and confusion when my beautifully sculpted offering began to melt.
In Philippians, Paul calls us to be sincere. The root word of ‘sincere’ comes from the Greek and literally translates to ‘able to withstand sunshine,’ or ‘without wax.’
You see, it used to be that whenever the ancient Greek sculptors would slip and ding the marble, they would make a patch with wax and fill the gash. They would then present it to the patron as perfect. I’m sure you can guess what happened to the stature after it was left on display in the courtyard for a few days; the wax melted, ruining the artwork. So they began to inspect the statues before they were put on sale, and the true works of art were labeled ‘sincere,’ without wax.
Well, my offering wasn’t sincere. Neither was my faith.
I made sacrifices, but only with the understanding that I would be fully compensated.
I trusted God to provide, but I figured it would only come through our plans and actions.
I set out to further the Lord’s Kingdom, but only as long as my own kingdom was likewise firmly established.
I sought the Lord, but not with an undivided heart jealously guarded from idolatry.
It’s no wonder I was unable to withstand the Son-shine.
It’s been hard to watch all my best efforts liquefy into a dirty puddle. There have been many times when I’ve shielded my work from the light and tried to harden the wax and put it back in place.
But God is immeasurably merciful to me, and so has continued to shine on my life. And my heart has continued to melt.
I resented the work, I tried to halt it. Then I noticed something wondrous. There, at the core of my creation, was a shard of pure faith.
Not faith in myself, my plans, my abilities, or those around me. And not something big, strong, and formidable. But none of that matters. The important thing isn’t how impressive this faith is; the crucial thing is Who this faith is in: Jesus.
That’s what the Lord was after; that’s what He was working to expose. Himself, there at the root of all my fleshly works. He’s been tearing down my work so that He can do His own.
And thanks to this long and painful process, today I was able to pray, sincerely pray, for the first time in a long time. And this is the prayer God led me to say:
“I am Yours; do with me as You will, and I will praise You for it.