A Trip Through the Refiner's Fire -- Part 2
In my last blog, I encouraged you to not run from God's tests.
The Lord doesn’t test you to hurt you. He tests you because He loves you and He wants so much for you to be all that He created you to be. He wants you to trust Him and believe that He knows what’s best for you.
Consider this analogy.
An elderly woman, an avid tea cup collector, was searching through antique shops in London looking for the perfect tea cup. Spotting an exceptional one, she asked the clerk, "May I see that? I have never seen a cup quite so beautiful."
With tea cup in hand, this collector found a seat to more carefully examine it. As she did, to her surprise, the little demitasse began to speak, "I have not always been so beautiful.” It said quietly. “There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me. He pounded and batted me over and over and I yelled out, 'Don't do that. I don't like it! Let me alone,' but he only smiled, and gently said, 'Not yet!'
"Then, WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!' I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, 'Not yet.'
"He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and pounded at the door. 'Help! Get me out of here!' I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, 'Not yet.'
"When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. 'Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better,' I thought. But, after I cooled, he picked me up and brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Oh, please; stop it, stop it!' I cried. He only shook his head and said. 'Not yet.'
"Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This one was twice as hot, and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited, wondering, What's he going to do to me next? An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself.' And I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!'
"Quietly the potter spoke: 'I want you to remember,' he said, 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted. But had I just left you alone, you would have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel. But if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven. But if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked.
I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over. But if I hadn't done that, you would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'"
Do you want your faith to grow? Do you want your faith to be deepened? Step up to the furnace and trust God to see you through.
The Bible states that God only makes masterpieces (Eph. 2:10). It takes time, however, to make a masterpiece. It also takes tests. Trust God in the midst of them. Trust Him to see you through. He will.
Want to be beautiful? Then your next step is toward the furnace. Let God go to work.