The Peace of Advent: Day Two
In all honesty, I am still just soaking in and processing this past weekend. It was extremely short while feeling surprisingly long, but it was a weekend filled to the brim with a lot of my favorite people, and for that I am so grateful. Getting to say goodbye to our roaring 20s with a stellar party, surrounded by our Nashville community and two great friends who came down from St Louis would be enough for one weekend, but to top it off with more than 100 of my favorite college students at the #CPCollege Christmas party put this weekend over the top. The sweet, sweet irony is that it was far from peaceful, but it was absolutely restorative and renewing for my soul.
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says theLord Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.”
– Malachi 3:1-4
I’m not sure if you have ever been refined through anything – a rough season where your own flaws were made known and brought to light and then had to be dealt with – but it is painful. It’s overwhelming. It’s humbling, intimidating, drawn-out, and thorough. There have been probably two major seasons of refinement (outside of the every day-constant type) that have been extremely difficult, that cut to the core of who I am, and needed to be dealt with effectively.
I love what God is saying through Malachi – The Lord you are seeking – who you desire – will come. Prior to each season of deep refinement, I genuinely was seeking God to show up in the midst of my impurity and pain. And in the midst of that, God showed up. Not how I was asking him to, but in his own was as the refiner – sitting through it. I love that line, “He will sit as a refiner” – he will take his time, be present, work through every ounce of our character and heart like someone would with gold or silver. And through the pain and the process, the refinement brought peace.
Peace that calmed my soul, that filled my spirit, that encouraged depth with Christ and that brought about life change. It was a slow, deep, painful process that resulted in a deep peace that to this day is a reminder of the love and grace of God. Whether this is a season of refinement for you or a moment of stable growth, know that we serve a God who sits with you through the process, and who removes all iniquities from his creation, leaving each of us with a deep, resounding peace. Amen.