Anvil Time  

                                           Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  - Psalm 51: 10-12

On God’s anvil. Perhaps you’ve been there.

Melted down. Formless. Undone. Placed on the anvil for … reshaping? (A few rough edges too many.) Discipline? (A good father disciplines.) Testing? (But why so hard?)

I know. I’ve been on it. It’s rough. It’s a spiritual slump, a famine. The fire goes out. Although the fire may flame for a moment, it soon disappears. We drift downward - downward into the foggy valley of question, the misty lowland of discouragement. Motivation wanes. Desire is distant. Responsibilities are depressing.

Passion? It slips out the door.

Enthusiasm? Are you kidding?

Anvil time.

It can be caused by a death, a breakup, going broke, constant wrong decisions, being away from God’s Word and yes, even going “prayer-less.” The light switch is flipped off and the room darkens. “All the thoughtful words of help and hope have all been nicely said. But I’m still hurting, wondering …”

On the anvil.

Brought face to face with God out of the utter realization that we have nowhere else to go. Jesus in the garden. Peter with a tear-streaked face. David after Bathsheba (Ps.51). Elijah and the “still, small voice.” Paul, blind in Damascus.

Pound, pound, pound.

I hope you’re not on the anvil. (Unless you need to be, and if so, I hope you are.) Anvil time is not to be avoided; it’s to be experienced.

Although the tunnel is dark, it does go through the mountain. Anvil time reminds us of who we are and who God is. We shouldn’t try to escape it. To escape it could be to escape God.

God uses our life from beginning to end. He may lead us through a storm at age thirty so we can endure a hurricane at age sixty. An instrument is useful only if it’s in the right shape. A dull ax or bent screwdriver needs attention, and so do we. A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape. So does God.

Should God place you on His anvil, be thankful. It means He thinks you’re still worth reshaping.

God’s peace,

Pastor Tom

Taken from the Vicar’s Corner, First Impressions, 2009 and paraphrased from Max Lucado’s  UpWords Devotions.

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