Monday, February 4, 2013

Sparkle

"My life is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming.  We are not now what we shall be, but we are on our way.  The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on.  This is not the goal, but it is the right road.  At present everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed"- Martin Luther
This quote was in my bible study a couple of weeks back.  I loved it.  Maybe because I love sparkle but also because I want to sparkle :)!  What girl doesn't.
I read a book last year called 66 Love Letters.  Larry Crabb writes the book about how each book of the bible, yes even Leviticus, is a love letter to our hearts.  I loved the book.  It is a great one.  
But one thing that spoke to my heart a lot as we read it was the fact that the Lord will do whatever it cost to make me more Holy.  His ultimate purpose is for me to be holy. 
"Momentary and light affliction will produce in us a glory that far outweighs them all"- 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
The same that this verse is speaking.  Jesus wants us to grow closer to Him.  To become more like Him.  And that isn't always easy.  Obviously Jesus love us more than we could EVER imagine and HATES and HURTS when we are in pain.  He doesn't want us in pain.  But He might use that pain to produce an eternal glory.  He might use it to put us in more of a position of His holiness.  
"At present everything does not gleam and sparkle (it isn't all flower and pretty and easy right now) but everything is being cleansed. (we are in the process of sparkling).

Cleansing isn't always easy.  It's like one of my favorite parts from Chronicles of Narnia- Voyage of the Dawn Treader- its long but so good.


"I won't tell yo how I became a -a dragon till I can tell the others and get it all over," said Eustace. "By the way, I didn't even know it was a dragon till I heard you all using the word when I turned up here the other morning. I want to tell you how I stopped being one."
"Fire ahead," said Edmund.
"Well last night I was more miserable than ever.  And that beastly arm-ring was hurting like anything---"
"Is that all right now?"
Eustace laughed- a different laugh from any Edmund had heard him give before--and slipped the bracelet easily off his arm.  "There it is," he said, "and anyone who likes can have it as far as I'm concerned.  Well as I say, I was lying awake and wondering what on earth would become of me.  And then-- but mind you, it may have been all a dream.  I don't know."
"Go on," said Edmund, with considerable patience.  "Well anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly toward me.  And one queer thing was that there was no moon last night, but there was moonlight where the lion was.  So it came nearer and nearer.  I was terribly afraid of it.  You may think that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion easily enough.  But it wasn't that kind of fear.  I wasn't afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it-- if you can understand.  Well, it came close up to me and looked straight into my eyes. And I shut my eyes tight.  But that wasn't any good because it told me to follow it."
"You mean it spoke?"
"I don't know.  Now that you mention it, I don't think it did.  but it told me all the same.  And I knew I'd have to do what it told me, so I got up and followed it.  And it led me a long way into the mountains.  And there was always this moonlight over and round the lion wherever we went.  So at last we came to the top of a mountain I'd never seen before and on top of this mountain there was a garden---trees and fruit and everything.  In the middle of it there was a well.
"I knew it was a well because you could see the water bubbling up from the bottom of it: but it was bigger than most wells---like a very big, round bath with marble steps going down into it.  The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg.  But the lion told me I must undress first.  Mind you, I don't know if he said any words out loud or not.
"I was going to say that I couldn't undress because I hadn't any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins.  Oh, of course, thought I, that's what the lion means.  So I started scratching myself and scales began coming off all over the place.  And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after and illness or as if I was a banana.  In a minute or two I just stepped out of it.  I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty.  It was a most lovely feeling.  So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.  
"But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that there were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before.  Oh, that's all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one and I'll have to get out of it too.  So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well to bath.
"Well exactly the same thing happened again.  And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off?  For I was longing to bathe my leg.  So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it.  but as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.  
"Then the lion said-- but I don't know if it spoke-- 'You will have to let me undress you.' I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty near desperate now.  So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.  
"The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.  And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt.   The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  you know-- if you've ever picked a scab or a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."
"I know exactly what you mean," said Edmund.
"Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off--just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt-- and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker and more knobbly--looking than the others had been.  Then he caught hold of me--I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on--and threw me into the water.  It smarted like anything but only for a moment.  After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm.  And then I saw why.  I had turned boy again.  You'd think me simply phony if I told you how I felt about my own arms.  I know they've no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian's, but I was so glad to see them.
"After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me---"
"Dressed you.  With his paws?"
"Well I don't exactly remember that bit.  But he did somehow or other: in new clothes --the same I've got on now, as a matter of fact.  And then suddenly I was back here.  Which is what makes me think it must have been a dream."
"No, it wasn't a dream," said Edmund.
"Why not?"
"Well, there are the clothes, for one thing.  And you have been---well, un-dragoned, for another."
"What do you think it was then?" asked Eustace.
"I think you've seen Aslan," said Edmund
---- Voyage of the Dawn Treader- C.S. Lewis

Jesus is cleansing us daily- he is making us more Holy.  Producing in us an eternal glory.  So that when we are with Him in our heavenly home we know Him differently and more than we did if we had not been cleansed.  If it hadn't hurt we would be at that place in our relationship with Him.  I love that.  And somehow it makes the difficultly of what we have to go through easier.  He has a purpose for our pains- He is making us Holy.  
He is making us sparkle!!







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