I love the four seasons of the year, because growing up in Houston, Texas, I never really experienced spring and fall…or winter for that matter. I basically just knew hot, followed by humid hot, humid cool, and then hot again. When I moved to Virginia in 2001, I discovered there are four beautiful seasons.
Who would have thought spring and fall could be so magical?
Life, much like the seasons of the year, seems to take us on a journey of seasons that are ever changing. The difference is that unlike the seasons of the year, seasons in life are not always predictable.
Several months ago, God began to reveal to me that the season of my life was about to change.
While the main “theme” of my days would remain the same, my focus was about to be broadened as I was being called to a new place of obedience and trust. In order to create space for the new things to which God was calling me, I had to let go of some old things.
This was hard, but also exciting. However, almost as soon as I could say, “Okay Lord, I surrender. Let’s go!”, I began to battle sins that I didn’t even know occupied space in my heart. It’s as if Satan saw my surrender and put a target on my back with the battle cry of…“this means war!”…and war it was.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8
Not surprisingly, the specific sins that began to entangle my heart were a direct assault on the path that God was calling me to walk. What followed was a refining process of separating the pure from the impure.
“The fires of refinement will shine the light of Christ into the dark places of our hearts, burn off the chaff, and restore us to a state of greater purity.” –Robin Bertram
I found that there was space in my heart that was susceptible to jealousy, fear, and the desire to be desired. These things separated me from the truth of God’s love, which compromised the integrity of my identity in Christ.
I was faced with three choices:
1) Allow my weakness to destroy me and render me useless to the kingdom of God.
2) Struggle and wrestle in my own strength to try to overcome my sin (which will never bode well).
3) Accept my weakness and allow God to do what only He can do and scrape away the sin that marred my heart.
For me, the answer was overwhelmingly obvious: I needed God to rescue me.
“Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” Psalm 19:12-14
I knew that the inward battle for my mind and heart could only be won by His strength. It was as if God, being a kind Father, exposed my weakness, allowing me to experience and wrestle with the dark depths of my heart that I didn’t even know were there; it was painful, overwhelming, and ugly.
Why is this the doing of a “kind Father”?
Because the waywardness of my heart would have kept me from intimacy with Him, which is where true life is found. I would have crumbled in this next season of my life without this refining process.
“Discipline is the result of an action, while refinement is a preparation of your calling.” –Robin Bertram
Refining seasons are essential, because they expose the weaknesses that make us vulnerable to the snares of the enemy. These seasons reveal more of the image-bearing creation that we were meant to embody.
“Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel,” Proverbs 25:4
Being refined does not feel good in the moment, but our hope lies in trusting the goodness of the Father to be working for our good (Romans 8:28, Phil 1:6). Fortunately, because of Jesus, we get to be refined, which brings forth life, power, and freedom from sin now (Rom. 15:13, Ps. 36:9, 2 Cor. 3:17) so that we can truly walk in our God-given calling and purpose in every season of life.
Christiana Boyer has been the wife of Jeff Boyer for 14 years, and together they have four children ages 9, 8, 6, and 2 years old. Christiana spends her days homeschooling her children and serving as the Local Outreach Director of Gospel Community Church. She is passionate about sharing Jesus with the world around her and equipping women to realize their God-given giftedness. She seeks to walk in the fullness of her calling in Christ while calling others to join her in pursuit of loving Jesus and others.