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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

2016: His glory revealed in me

I once saw a skit illustrating how it looks and feels to be transformed into the image of Christ. One guy “Jesus” had a chisel in his hand and was chiseling away at the other guy on stage. The guy being chiseled was in a fair amount of pain and complained a lot. Being chiseled can hurt. After all, sometimes it means giving up your favorite habits or TV shows. These days for me it means changing my attitudes and not worshiping certain relationships. The guy being chiseled asked “Jesus”, “When do can this stop?” “Jesus” answered him, “When you look in the mirror and see Me instead of you.”

In the last few weeks I have reflected back on 2016. It was a very painful year because Jesus did some serious chiseling on my character. I howled in pain a lot. Unfortunately, I also often blamed this pain on all the people around me instead of on the idolatrous nature of my flesh.

Some of the pain I experienced during 2016 was from my valuing my own honor above His honor. Some of the pain I experienced was for His sake. The good news is that He used all of it to transform me into the image of His Son.

I like the verse in Romans that says we glory in our sufferings because “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” I have so much more hope than when I started this journey. Back then, I didn’t have much character; God was just beginning to transform me. His Spirit was most definitely inside me and inwardly transforming me, but the promises of the Bible seemed so far off and surreal. Heaven was distant.

As you would quickly notice if you read my journal from the turn of the year, I was not very excited about life. I was even less excited about the future. Could I have the past instead? I have always been a forward-oriented person. The future is where there is healing and hope. I was finding it hard not to look at all the pain of being chiseled, so I was entirely missing the fruit it produced.

Making daily choices to follow Jesus in 2016 really did lead to what God promised. Character produced Hope. My understanding is that “hope” in Scripture doesn’t refer to wishful thinking, but to a firm assurance of an event that is guaranteed to happen in the future. God developing His character in me has definitely led to me believing there is indeed a faithful God and one day I will see Him face to face.

I used to stand on the Rock which is Christ and shiver in fear because I never knew I was standing on a Rock. These days more and more I realize the only Rock is Christ. Everything else really is sinking sand.

There is some country song with the line “I thought I loved you then”. That is how I feel about my story as I reflect on my journey with Christ. For years I have loved Him, but my love grows stronger with time.

I thought I loved Scripture a year ago. Then in 2016 God introduced me to memorization. Now His Word really is in my heart. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. To not just kind of sort of think I know what is in the Book, but to know beyond the shadow of a doubt what is in the Book – every moment of every single day.

A few weeks ago, I told a friend something like “All I can do is remember what He says in His Word, and try to believe what it says.” I have had a few life transforming weeks since then. Now I would reword that to say, “I am really broken. My perception of what I think I perceive is extremely limited and skewed. As I interact with my limited human perception, I judge my current ‘reality’ on what I think previously occurred in my life – based on my perception. This perception is extremely broken. It always looks to protect myself before all others. In my case, it also almost always critically judges other people instead of myself. It believes their intentions are the worst. I cannot trust my perception. Trusting my perception will lead me to destruction. His Word is the only thing I can rely on. If I don’t make it the only Truth in my life, I will have a life full of broken relationships. His Word is my Rock.”

A chapter of my life closed at the end of 2016. With it, came many tears; but last week He reminded me that He has promised to transform me from “glory to glory”. I don’t know what the next chapter will bring; but He has promised if I continue to follow Jesus, it will be more glorious than the previous chapter. My character will become more like His. My present sufferings will not be worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in me. I have found this promise to be extremely comforting. He will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter what the next chapter of my life looks like externally, in it I have the opportunity to know Him more deeply.

“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

Do you find it encouraging that 2017 will be more glorious than 2016 if you simply decide to follow Jesus?


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