As I kid, I spent hours hanging out in my dad's shop. Barely large enough to hold a pickup truck and a potbellied stove, Dad had stuffed that little tar-paper covered building with enough tools to make a NASCAR crew chief envious.
Dad didn't do a lot of woodwork - primarily, he worked with metal. I distinctly remember him being able to take a piece of angle iron and hold it to the grinder, sparks flying off of his coveralls, until you could shave with the edge of the metal.
This morning, I read Proverbs 27...and I came across the oft-quoted passage in verse 17. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
For a long time, we've thought of this in the context of friendship. It's a favorite passage of small group gurus. We need each other. We're better together.
It's funny, but there was nothing Dr. Phillish about my dad working on the grinder. It was violent. It was loud. The metal screamed and occassionally set fire to things around it. It was not the cozy sing along we've made it into be.
What if the iron sharpening you today is really your cheif irritation? What if the person you're trying to pray the devil out of really has a Spirit of God inside and is rubbing you the wrong way...grinding the rough edges off of you so you are useful?
Iron sharpens iron. But it's not rarely an aesthetic or emotional delight. Get used to it. It's the mercy of God that it's happening now and not later, when you're in the public eye and your rough edges are displayed for all the world.