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It's a Process

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

Those words, “are being transformed” should give us all hope and encouragement. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, some dramatic changes take place in our life. However other changes occur daily over time, like Grandma’s special recipe spaghetti sauce.

It all started when she would carefully select just the right tomato plants to adorn her garden. Then she babied them each day, ripping out those pesky weeds and even snipping off the “suckers” as she called them. The suckers were those little sprouts that would shoot up between the stalk and the healthy branch. To the unknowing eye, it seemed like just another branch, but not to Grandma. She said, “If we let that sucker stay there, it will suck out all the nutrition that needs to go to the fruit.”

Then harvest time came when she handpicked only those plump, juice-laden few that would graduate to the next stage. Grandma would then spend days singling out the right mix of vegetables and preparing them for the heat. The heat—that was another step in the process. It was not random, no, no; it was well thought out and had a purpose. For a precise number of minutes it would be turned up, and then suddenly plunged back down. For days, thirty days actually, this process continued.

Each day had a new ingredient, an adjustment in temperature and gentle stirring. It seemed so much more difficult than opening a jar of Ragu! But, oh, the finished product! I can’t describe it really, but when I looked at that sauce, I didn’t see the tomato anymore. The cycles of heat didn’t appear anywhere. All I could detect was the tender love that Grandma had poured into that pot of sauce and it was flawless!

Our life is a series of stages. We have been carefully chosen by the Master for a purpose. He snips off those suckers in our lives and yanks out the weeds. He mixes in just the right relationships and opportunities so we can touch others and they can touch us. He allows us to go through the heat but He knows when to come to our rescue. He gently stirs our hearts and completely changes our appearances.

Look! You don’t look like your old self! You don’t even resemble it! Christ is changing you a little each day. We are increasingly looking more and more like the flawless Father. Forgive yourself for not being perfect—Christ has. Accept the fact that we are clay in the Potter’s hands and He is taking us through the stages, so we can become more like Him.

O Lord, help us to be content with our circumstances. May we praise You for the heat and thank You for plucking the sin out of our lives. Show us how we can reflect Your glory today.

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