What are you willing to go through to get there?
By Dena LeMmons
Like so many of you, I have often asked God to show me his will for my life. I have asked him to use me for his glory, and praying countless times to walk in His divine destiny for my life. Then, one day God asked me, what are you willing to go through to get there? It was during a time when I was stripping my fireplace mantel to its' natural wood that He posed this question to me, and presented me with an interesting and yet challenging revelation.
Naively, I expected the stripping process to be complete within two to three day's tops. So armed with stripping solutions, power sander, floor covering, gloves, and protected eyewear I was set to go. After applying, the stripping solution and allowing it to take effect, like an eager beaver I started scraping away. To my dismay and days later, I was nowhere near completion.
To my dismay, as I removed one layer, it revealed another layer, which revealed another layer, and so on and so on and so forth. I'm sure you get the picture. During the stripping process I also discovered that care and special attention was needed while removing the paint from the mantel edges due to its' detailed carvings. A special sharp edged scraping tool had to be used and the slightest slip could damage the intricate artwork. Frustrated, and ready to give up, I yelled "GOD WHAT IS UP WITH THIS" and he politely answered, you.
Stunned and somewhat bewildered, those words captured my full attention. I listened as He reminded me that my home was built in 1947, and there was 59 years of paint and other chemicals that had been layered on top of the wood, and stripping it down to its' "original state" would be a long and delicate process that would require my patience and endurance. Again, I heard "What are you willing to go through to get there?"
Like you, God stated, I must strip away the years of bad habits, the years of disappointments, the years of anger, the years of fear, the years of frustration, the years of sorrow, and your years of pain, in order to get you where I need you to be. I must strip you of yourself, with nothing left to stand in the way of moving you into your destiny. Again, in His gentle voice he asked me, "What are you willing to go through to get there"?
In a last ditch attempt to ease or divert whatever suffering I thought I was about to go through, I quickly reminded him (as though he really needed to be reminded) of my plans, my visions and dreams. In response, I was reminded, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV.) Again, He asked, "What are you willing to go through to get there?" In a bold yet stubborn stance, as though pleading for the mercy of the court, I cried out "God, have I not been through enough already? Your word says, "You will never give me more than I can handle," and as a loving and gentle Father he replied, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 NKJV
I would love to say that I immediately submitted to being stripped, however, that was not the case for me. I went forward full force presenting my case for trail and tribulation diversion. I pointed to situations where I had gone beyond the call of duty. I provided evidence of my obedience; I went full force in fervent prayer, talking about Elijah, how he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain.
I was binding on earth, loosening in Heaven, laying down my petitions in a persuasive manner in hopes for a reprieve. As I gave every reason that my mind could conceive, He listened. Yet in the end, if I was to get where he needed me to be, I had to relinquish my will, my way and myself totally to the Father's gentle stripping of that which through time had layered itself upon me. Was the process painful? Absolutely! Did it break me down? Absolutely! Did I feel lost and alone? Absolutely! However, where there was pain, he gave me peace. When I was broken, he rebuilt me strong and mighty. When I felt lost and alone, he comforted me, carried me, covered me and took me by the hand and loving guided me systematically through my stripping process.
For many of you this revelation may be simplistic in thought, but I guarantee that it is superior in its evidence as he continues to prepare me for my destiny. As far as the fireplace mantel, it remains a work in progress. God loves us so much that he knows exactly what it will take to get us where he needs us to be. He always has our best interest in mind. God is interested in his best for us, not our best interest for ourselves. Therefore, I submit this question to you. What are you willing to go through to get there?
Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 NKJV.