Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Acts 16:3
Ouch. As women, perhaps we can’t fully understand the pain Timothy must have endured. He must have been very strong in faith and really desiring to go with Paul to agree to this ceremony. What can we learn from Timothy?
He was willing to be exposed. For the sake of his new ministry, so he wouldn’t be a stumbling block, Timothy was willing to reveal his most private parts. Not that God is calling any of us to undress. But we must be willing to reveal to God our deepest most private thoughts that we’d never share in public. We must appear naked, stripped of social status, money, education, or whatever else and come before our Maker “bearing all”. But, why?After all, you might ask, God knows us inside and out. True, but don’t we still feel tempted to hide things from Him? The reason He asks us to reveal it all to Him is because that takes trust.
Timothy was willing to undergo pain and let the part that might cause him to be less of a witness, the part that might attract disease, to be cut away. In our spiritual growth, God prunes each of us, cutting away that which can thwart the efforts He has called us to do for His sake. Perhaps it is pride, or being judgemental of others, or false teachings, or being controlling.
Timothy had faith he would heal and go on. He was willing to undergo a cutting away and temporary pain because he knew God had greater plans for him. For him it was a sacrifice, but less than Christ suffered on the cross. Timothy put his discomfort in perspective.
Is God in the process of pruning you to be a vine that can grow more and produce more fruit? Will you be like Timothy and have the faith and trust to let Him cut away the things that may be blocking you from being an effective tool to draw others to Him? Are you willing to expose your deepest most private thoughts to Him in prayer, knowing that He loves you just as you are but wants to shape you into something even better?
Don’t be afraid. It’s alright. Even if there is hurt, God can provide the healing balm. If there is something blocking you from doing what He has called you to do, have the trust and faith to stand before Him, open your heart and say, “Lord, cut away.”