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A season of purging

We’ve been here in Thailand for a week and are leaving for home tonight at 1 a.m.  We’re in a season of the empty nest – in many ways a season of purging.  Relationships and life patterns get changed whether you’re ready or not.  Karen and I have been fortunate to make the tran…
By Seth Barnes
We’ve been here in Thailand for a week and are leaving for home tonight at 1 a.m.  We’re in a season of the empty nest – in many ways a season of purging.  Relationships and life patterns get changed whether you’re ready or not.  Karen and I have been fortunate to make the transition together without too much heartbreak.  Many couples are not so lucky.
All our lives we go through seasons of purging, whether intentional (as in the case of a fast) or forced by fate.  I once fasted 42 days. In the first week or so my body purged itself of various poisons – I was much healthier for the experience. Currently, the world economy is going through a season of purging – you can read about it in the financial section of the newspaper. We took on too much debt; we lived beyond our means; we raised spoiled children. We need a good purging.

You can look at your friends going through hard times and sometimes all they are experiencing is a very necessary season of purging. It may feel to them like death, but from God’s perspective, their cracked cisterns need to be emptied if they’re ever to be patched.

We need to be careful when God allows us to feel the natural consequences of our excess, to not miss the big picture of what he’s doing. John 15 describes God as a gardener lovingly pruning us so we can bear more fruit. The slice of the pruning shears inflicts temporary pain to bring us to a better place. It may come in the form of someone sharing a harsh truth or in finding that an expectation we held dear is no longer valid. Whatever it is that God is asking you to go through, the only way to get to the other side as quickly as possible is to say “yes” and give him what he wants.

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