Monday, March 25, 2013

Fire and Fulfillment

Can I tell you something? Slow down. Don't wish away the season that you are in; this is just another process of you becoming closer to the person God designed you to be.

Sometimes we pray for easy and uncomplicated. We pray for unfiltered joy and the happy tears that come with that. We are far too familiar with the tears that sting and battle scars. But, what if we missed out on hardships that build up the greatness of God in us? If we never find ourselves mid-center in the flames we might miss the finished product of refinement. I know my God is much more interested in our polished heart instead of our polished image. Yet, we spend so much time on the latter.

Winter is always a season of stillness for me, this writer runs out of words and things to say. So, I wait and I hold on knowing something will be learned. I will be better if I wait and stop wishing away this season where everything seems cracked and cold. If I press through in faith knowing that beauty is waiting to rise up from the ashes and barren places. 

We feel the need to produce and check things off our list, as if busyness is the symbol of our success. We become good at going through the motions gaining very little ground. We've forgotten how to be still, how to embrace the quiet, and allow our souls be searched and refined by the God that formed us. When the flames come we feel forgotten and that somehow God has taken His eyes off of us. He is right there within the flames; His eyes fixed on you His beloved creation.

During the process of refining silver, the silver is placed in the center of the flames, the hottest spot, so that the impurities can be melted away. As the heat from the fire melts away impurities, the silversmith waits. The silversmith knows that the silver is ready when he can see his reflection in the silver; his eyes are attentive to the precious substance in the hottest part of the flames.

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness..." (Mal 3:3 NIV)

So many times I've handed God my offerings of busyness instead of righteousness. My sifting and fire moments come and instead of smelling like fire, I want to be a reflection of the image of God. Waiting for us on the other side of our furnace is rich fulfillment and a life with greater purpose knowing that every moment spent in the fire brings us closer to a polished heart that God is pleased with.

"Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard, Who keeps our soul among the living, And does not allow our feet to be moved. For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid afflictions on our back. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, But You brought us to rich fulfillment." (Ps 66: 8-12)

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