Often His instrument used during this process comes in the form of a person. Someone in our lives who God uses as His tool of sanctification. Sometimes these tools are trusted, proven relationships where we feel safe to expose our hearts and have our uglies revealed.
I am also very aware that I am a “sandpaper person” to some people, and I don’t take that lightly. My desire is not to rub anyone the wrong way, but the fact of the matter is I do. I pray that I can honor Him even as someone’s sandpaper person, in what usually is an awkward position. When He makes me aware that I am a sandpaper person to someone, I humbly ask Him to help me quietly honor Him in that uncomfortable role. And as only He can do, He has brought about lovely relationships with people who previously were in the role of “sandpaper person” in my life. That’s a beautiful thing.
Recently, as I was going through a threshing floor season and the tool was an unknowing servant, one of my sandpaper people, the Lord impressed upon my heart to do a little Bible study about the threshing floor by reading through the book of Ruth. This book of the Bible illustrates the law of the kinsman-redeemer. A kinsman-redeemer was a near relative who was able and willing to pay the price of redemption, freeing the relative by taking care of the debt/ransom price for them. By leaving His throne and coming to dwell with us in flesh through the incarnation, Jesus became our Kinsman-Redeemer. Our Perfect Nearest-of-Kin made reconciliation with God for us, while we were yet sinners.
As I read through the third chapter of Ruth, I was tenderly overwhelmed by His Word. Ruth 3:5 tells us that she went to the threshing floor in obedience. I was breathless as I read on and was reminded that there on the threshing floor she encountered her kinsman-redeemer, whom she asked to gently cover her with his garment of protection and care. How this ministered to my heart. Our Kinsman-Redeemer is faithful to meet us on the threshing floor of our hearts. He loves us and desires a pure heart in us. He tenderly meets us in that place, and we are secure under His covering of love.
Going to the threshing floor of our hearts is a bittersweet process. But the sweet is worth it. Our Kinsman Redeemer meets us there in faithfulness and gently covers us with His garment of protection, care and righteousness. The chaff is burned and blows away. The beautiful wheat remains and brings Him glory.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
“Do not withhold Your mercy from me, O Lord; may Your love and Your truth always protect me.” Psalm 40:11 (NIV)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)