"The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts." - Prov. 17:3
The difficulty in being refined is not so much the heat and discomfort - most of us can deal reasonably well with a little discomfort now and then - but rather the bringing to the surface of all the grubby, disheveled, unflattering stuff from the dirty corners of our souls. We will endure an enormous amount of pain, provided we are permitted to protect our public image. (1 Samuel 15:24-31)
Everyone rolls out of bed in the morning and puts on clean, smiling, nothing-is-wrong-with-me faces. It's the professional thing to do, but the inevitable result is a whole bunch of plastic people. In our society, it has become survival - common sense. But you cannot enter the Kingdom with your best foot forward.
Sanctification, by definition, is a messy business. My brother's been working on his car, and it's nothing out of the ordinary to see parts and tools scattered across the worktable, slathered in oil and grime. Even though the goal is restoration and rejuvenation, the vehicle is at times reduced to utter incapacity: it can't even be started.
It is terribly humiliating to have your leaking gaskets, worn u-joints, and fouled up spark-plugs exposed for all the world to see. But don't trade your birthright for a tow truck. Hell is an abandoned junkyard with rows and rows of cars who refused to be worked on.
Open your hood.
Kicking against these goads
Sure did cut up my feet
Didn't your hands get bloody
As you washed them clean
-Aaron Tate, Where I Began