prefix: a word, letter, or number placed before another
In last week’s re:flect-i post, April shared how much she adored words. I admit, I’m a word fan myself, a grammar fan, really. While being a grammar nerd might be annoying to some, it has come in handy when reading-and even memorizing-Scripture. Observing things like prefixes helps with understanding words and their meanings.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. (Psalm 119: 105, 107)
I began this strange season of a global pandemic feeling out of sorts. Everyone’s schedules were cleared, yet with the free time my usual life-rhythm was turned upside down. As my spiritual disciplines were interrupted, I sensed my heart becoming somewhat numb. Knowing this wasn’t where I wanted to be, I asked friends to pray for me and I set my face towards God and away from worthless things (yes, the copious coronavirus articles). As a result, God is reviving my heart. The word revive means to restore to life, to give new strength. I hope to end this pandemic with new spiritual life and strength. Many of us have been concerned about our physical health; how are you doing spiritually?
Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. (Psalm 119:36-37)
But He wasn’t finished there. God has also proceeded to show me the sin in my heart, in my kids’ hearts, in my husband’s heart all while we share tight quarantine-quarters. It’s never easy to see our sin. Sometimes we respond to our sin by ignoring it, covering it up and pretending it’s not there, or getting defensive about it. But, ultimately, we need to get to a place where we see it and hate it. Once we reach that point then we can confess it to the Lord and He will cleanse us and forgive us from all unrighteousness.
This pandemic has given me opportunities to watch God bring our sin to the surface, then refine us. Refine: to remove impurities, improve something by making small changes.
…And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple…But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire. And like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver…that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:1-3
It might be easy to live life comparing our sins to others’ BIG sins, but when we truly view God in His holiness (Isaiah 6), we become undone. And, what a glorious state to be in. Undone. Ruined. So the Refiner would remove our impurities and make us something we could never achieve on our own.
Through God’s powerful work in us, reviving and refining our hearts, we are renewed. This word isn’t a tricky one-the prefix re makes new into new again. Renewing is something God does, and something He calls us to do throughout His word.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
As I rely on Jesus and live for Him, He renews my mind, my heart, my actions. He is more than able to do this in me, in you. I am filled with hope as I know that He who has begun this good work in me will finish it to completion.
He won’t leave anything incomplete, for one day He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain…Then, God…on the throne (will say), “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:4-5) He renews all things, including us!
As He works in us, may we re:flect Him in all that we are!