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Remember, you are an unfinished masterpiece
Transformed by fire
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As a distance runner with a mile-wide competitive streak, one thing I have learned over time is that there is always room for improvement. There is always room to run farther, faster or finish higher than I did in the last race. When I am competing against myself, my best today is never what I want to settle for tomorrow.
I have also learned the hard way that the same holds even truer in my walk with Jesus Christ. No matter how far I come in striving for the standard by which I am called to live, the standard of Jesus Christ, I can always be better today than I was yesterday.
The fact is, as human beings, as much as we wish to reach the pinnacle, to attain perfection, it is just not possible. There is always a need for us to grow, to learn, or to become stronger. We are consistently works in progress.
And the only way lasting growth ever occurs in our lives is through the pain of trial.
As a runner, if I do not endure pain, I will never reach the goals I aim to reach, be it a better time or higher place.
More importantly, as a Christian, I can never hope to grow into the man God desires me to be if I do not endure the fire of trial in my life.
So why does growth require pain and struggle? It is only through struggle that we can ever truly develop the character that only comes through perseverance and endurance. And it is only through struggle that we can ever learn the humility to admit that we cannot walk through life on our own.
We never learn to conquer adversity through Christ if we never face adversity to begin with. And we never develop strength of character without first experiencing discipline.
The mistake too many in today’s society make, though, is to believe that because pain, grief, and trial exist, that God either does not exist, or does not love His children. Those who make this mistake would have us believe that love means never experiencing hurt, and being given everything we desire without ever having to work or fight for it. They believe it means that love means never having to face discipline.
But this is not love, this is enabling. Without discipline, trial and pain, we are ever spiritual children.
So when you face the worst of raging torrents life has to offer, do not give into the belief that the Lord has forsaken you. In fact, you must remember it is quite the opposite.
The Lord is walking with you through those storms and using them to shape you into the masterpiece that He has created you to be.
You may not be able to see the finished picture through the driving rain, but just like the rainbow and the green plants, God has promised that He will always bring you greater life after the storm!

Daniel Kiewel is a Youth Sponsor at CrossPoint Church in Great Bend. He maintains a blog and daily devotional at He can be reached by email at