I love being barefooted. Perhaps it’s because I was raised in the South, in the country. Or perhaps it’s something in my DNA. Whatever the reason, I’m never happier than when I’m barefooted. But because I’ve spent more of my life than not, running around with no shoes on, every once in a while, I’m going to get a splinter. That’s just the way it is.

When I was a kid, in our house, splinter-removal was Daddy’s domain. Mama was just no good at it because she was squeamish, and she couldn’t bear to hurt us. But Daddy was good at it. He had steady hands, strong eyes, and he knew that even though he was hurting me for a minute, it was for the greater good. And so, he would lift me up onto the kitchen counter, directly under the bright overhead light, he would pull my foot up to his chest, and would proceed to ignore my ear-splitting, blood-curdling screams, while he dug out the painful object.

While it always hurt to have splinters removed, the thing that made it bearable is that I trusted my Daddy. I knew he was doing what was best for me, even though it hurt. And I knew that the pain was going to be temporary.

Well, y’all, I have some splinters. In fact, I have so many splinters, I don’t even know where all of them are. And some of them are festering and infected. My hands aren’t very steady. My eyes aren’t very strong. And I just can’t dig them out myself. But there is someone I trust to remove them. He knows what’s best for me, even though it hurts. And even though it sometimes doesn’t feel like it, the pain is going to be temporary.

Today, we start our newest book discussion on Bob Sorge’s “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” And he begins with such fearful imagery of God as a consuming fire. For me to even face that, I had to comfort myself with a couple of things.

1 – God loves me just as I am. He made me just as I am. And He really isn’t interested in “ruining” this creation called me. He isn’t looking to take away my sense of humor or my creativity. He isn’t looking to make me boring or miserable to be around. He’s looking to make me into the very best version of me. He’s looking to remove the hurts and the burdens and the pains I’m carrying. And He wants to do it for, among other reasons, to make my life better, not more painful. He also has stuff He wants to do THROUGH me to make other peoples’ lives better and less painful.

2 – I can trust Him.

Sorge says, “The imagery of Jeremiah 23:29 is that of God taking us up in His tongs, sticking us into His fiery furnace, waiting till we’re red-hot, pulling us out, setting us down on His anvil, and then hammering us into shape. Such a vivid metaphor carries graphic implications for us that include pain, loss of control, intense pressure, and violent change. Welcome, dear son of Levi, to God’s refining fire!”

It is impossible to face such needful but painful remedy unless you trust the hands that will be applying the remedy.

The question I have to ask myself is, “Do I trust Him?” And if I do, then I need to let the fire come. I need to let Him remove the splinters.

Sorge goes on to explain that “God’s fire resides among His people.” God loves us and it’s because of this great love for us that He stays with us and removes the splinters. But Sorge points out that this is joy. Because when the splinters come out, we heal.

I think I’m ready for that.

I hope I’m ready for that.

How about you?

Today’s post is the first post in our new book discussion! You do NOT have to read the book to participate in the discussion. We like to hear what you have to say, so go ahead! Throw your two (or ten) cents in! If you did write a response to this week’s post, click on over to my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen’s site, where he’ll have a widget for you to post your link. 

About Sarah Salter


  1. Good job, kid! Me? I’m too used to shoes; I’m truly a tenderfoot and see no reason to change that at this late stage of life. Having said that, the leather and stone that I used to try to encase my heart with wasn’t up to the task – and for that, I’m grateful 🙂

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Rick, as usual, your response makes me smile. (And you’re one of only two people that I let get away with calling me ‘kid’. Enjoy the privilege.) 😀

  3. That *could* be because I’m nearly old enough to be your dad 🙂

    I’ll never take it for granted, that’s for sure 😀

    See you back at the usual place in a few 😀

  4. Ah but you are a wee little one! Compared to some anywho! 😉

    Love the imagery of the splinters. The process is painful but the result is well worth rejoicing.

  5. A great analogy. Reminds me too that the more you anticipate and resist, the more painful it gets. It’s like I tell me kids when they have to get a shot at the doctor’s office, you’re better off calming down. The more tense you are, the more it will hurt. Trusting keeps us loose and helps with recovery time. Such good lessons! Thanks Sarah. 🙂

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, did you really call me “a wee little one”? Have I ever told you that you’re my favorite? 😉

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, YES! I can’t tell you how many times I’m having acupuncture and I said, “OW!” And my acupuncturist says, “I haven’t even poked you yet!” 🙂 And that’s true in the rest of life, too. We dread so much that either never comes or isn’t as bad as we thought it would be. 🙂

  8. So, I just finished reading the Introduction…which ALONE was like BAM!…and Chapter 1. I cannot even begin to formulate any coherent thoughts about it all just this second. (I will work on that tomorrow. Need to marinate a little bit.) But I can tell you now that I need this, right now, in this season of my life. Isn’t God good that way?? Even in all His fiery-ness.

    I love the splinter analogy. I also heard on HIS Radio this morning the DJ talk about it in this way…Her dog is currently wearing the cone of shame because of some recent surgery. The dog is pitiful. He is actually trying to run away from himself and trying to get the cone off because it is weird and uncomfortable. AND he has a wound on his body that he would really like to get to, to try and take care of himself. The DJ says she looks at the pup and he is so pitiful and while she would REALLY like to remove the cone of shame, she knows that wearing the cone of shame is what is best for him until he heals. It is necessary because if he doesn’t wear it, he could hurt himself even more. Of course, the pup can’t understand that, because he doesn’t see the reasons for his current suffering. So, she leaves it on him, knowing it is miserable, but also knowing that he won’t have to wear it forever. As his mama who loves him, she knows what is best and when the time is right, she will remove the cone of shame…to the great joy of the pup!

    So, until the Lord sees fit to remove my “cone of shame”, I will try to wait patiently, trust in Him and not hurt myself worse by trying to remove it myself. 🙂

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    Good words, JoMama! And seriously, I’m reading this going, “Oh, my gosh, it hurts so much! But I need more!” (Anybody want to sing a chorus of “hurts so good” with me?) 🙂

  10. Oh yeah, girl!

  11. “Cone of Shame” – I see I’m in with the right group of people 😀

  12. I love this post, Sarah!
    I cheated while on vacation and read some blog posts of my friends even though I didn’t comment and I read and re-read yours a few times.

    You really hit me hard with this, “He isn’t looking to take away my sense of humor or my creativity. He isn’t looking to make me boring or miserable to be around. He’s looking to make me into the very best version of me.”

    I’ve been hurt by church people who think I don’t fit into the mold. My sense of humor is dry and raw (by raw I mean I laugh at things others don’t find funny- I think it comes from working in the ER, you either laugh or cry when you work there).
    Fact is, I don’t fit the “mold” of what a “typical” church goer is. I’ve tried to be what I’m not and it’s wonderful to begin to realize God has a plan and purpose for me and my sense of humor and passions.

    Thanks so much!

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