What do you do when nothing in your life seems to be going right? Luckily, we are never alone. Although we may not recognize it, (I know that I usually don’t), there IS purpose in the valley. There IS a reason for our experiences and struggles. I wrote this devotional many years ago and thought I’d share it with you.
“These have come so that your faith-
of greater worth than gold,
which perishes even though refined by fire-
may be proved genuine and may result in praise,
glory and honor when Jesus
Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:7
There are two different methods used when refining gold. The two most common types are high temperature flame and chemicals. The method used is dependent upon the quantity of gold you are working with and the desired level of purity. In ancient times, refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a hot fire with molten gold in a crucible being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities.
I actually care nothing about this topic. My only interest lies in how the subject relates to my spiritual life. I was talking to a friend this week who is wading through the same rough waters I am. His comment to me was, “This situation is not something any of us wanted to go through, but my faith has never been stronger… .” I quickly responded that I felt the same way.
The path I have walked over the past eight months has been a very unpleasant one. I wouldn’t wish this route on my worst enemy. Having said that, I know that in the end I will be able to look back at where I began the journey and say with confidence that I wouldn’t trade the experience because of where I have landed in my walk with Christ. Just like with gold, sometimes our faith is refined through hot flames. Hard times.
The good news is, God is our Craftsman and He sits by our flame the entire time. He stirs us and uses the fire to rid us of our impurities. The process may be long, but when it is complete, we are changed. Our faith is purified. We are more beautiful than before. Shinier.
We are refined.
(Addendum, 7 years later)
I wrote this after my marriage ended. At the time, I couldn’t see past the nose on my face. I know God gave me these words to remind me that He was at work in the midst of the Fire.
I needed the reminder.
Here I sit, on the other side of the flame. The smoke is gone. I see more clearly now.
And I thank Him for the process.