I had lunch with a friend recently and we discussed a difficult situation in her life that keeps drawing her to her knees. She was frustrated and exhausted over it. One thing I heard as she shared was how this particular person in her life was so different than the others and it made life hard. Sandpaper!! Ouch!
Do you have sandpaper friends? Those are the people in your life that God is using to smooth out the rough edges, to beautify and remove the scratchy, abrasive corners that hurt and snag us up. They are those “don’t feel good” people who may make you feel like you need to get away, to run and never look back. Those people we say we are setting boundaries with by putting some distance between us and them but in reality we are self-protecting and buffering ourselves from what may be an uncomfortably necessary pruning.
God uses sandpaper people to pull out of us the stuff that keeps us from becoming more Christlike. The stuff that comes up in you “because of them” is your stuff not theirs.
Matthew 15:18 reminds us, “But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you.”
It is in you if it comes out of you – and that stuff – that is what God is after!
And He will use whatever, whoever He can to pull it up and out!
So before you run for the hills from the sandpaper in your life – stop and ask the Lord if maybe, just maybe, this is His design. There are definitely times we need to set healthy boundaries and move out of unhealthy relationships and there are other times we must stay, press in and allow Him to complete a work He has begun.
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
So change your attitude,
shift your focus,
reframe your thinking
and see this situation/person as a gift to you.
God will use it to make you beautiful if you will surrender to the sandpaper in His hand.
And you will look more like Jesus when He is done!