Sandpaper. Rough. Gritty. Scratchy.

Applied willy-nilly, it scratches paint, mars plastic, and rips off the top layer of skin. 

Correctly applied, it removes the rough spots leaving a smooth surface that’s ready for something new. Stain. Paint. A shiny coat of varnish.

2020 felt like sandpaper. Irritating. Annoying. Painful even. 

I didn’t know I could bite my tongue so much without permanent damage. Patience wasn’t cultivated as much as impatience was sanded down.  No more splinters—or at least not as many.

Sanding removes remnants of paint from old wood and the shiny mill glaze from the new. Sanding corrects imperfections. After sanding, a stain or finish can penetrate the wood. It’s a necessary prep for new things.

What did God sand down on you last year? Fear? Unbelief? Busyness?

What new thing does He want to apply in 2021? Thanksgiving? Faith? Prayer? Worship?

God doesn’t sand because He has extra sandpaper sitting around. He sands with purpose. Watch for the new thing in 2021. 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 NIV


  1. Collect different grits of sandpaper. How do they feel? How is each one used?
  2. Choose a simple building project for the family: a picture frame, a bird house, etc. How did the sanding process affect the project?
  3. What things does God use to sand us?
  4. How do you respond to God’s sanding?

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