Dont Fear the Crucible

Crucible: “a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.”

Have you ever had a crucible day? I’m having one now. Actually it’s been a series of crucible days. A “crucible day” is where the pressures of life shove in, often overwhelming us and the heat exposes the emotions of the heart.

A Hallmark of the New Testament is not only God’s forgiveness but his promises that He will refine us.

Several places in scripture it is shown that the process God uses is similar to the goldsmith who refines gold. To do this the precious metal is put into a crucible and melted. Then the temperature is heated and the metal melts. As the temperature is increased and time goes by the impurities rise to the surface for the Goldsmith to remove.

God is an expert smith. He knows how to raise the temperature and he does it with prudent purpose. It is very important to keep our minds stayed on this fact because when the heat is turned up it feels very chaotic; the stress and often pain cause the deepest issues of the heart to be stirred and the impurities rise to the surface. It does not have the feeling of purpose.

Issues and feelings that seemed to be long gone surface in different ways. Feelings of failure and depression can set in. Emotionally it can seem like taking a big step backward in life.

I deal with that in a very deep way during these times of testing. But the one thing that encourages me is the knowledge that GOD is very much a part of my life and both allows the testing and accepts me in my failures. He is refining me. Knowing that although it feels like the ultimate in chaos it has intelligent purpose and God can use it makes a vast difference.

My marriage counselor is fond of Romans 5:3 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

To Glory in suffering sounds crazy. It would be crazy to glory in suffering and we groan often when he reminds us of this verse. But we groan with a smile because knowing that GOD is working behind the scenes in our hearts and in our life to allow the trials to change us is a key that can take miserable suffering into a different dimension. It does for me.

Sometimes it’s the only thing that encourages me. It keeps me Never Giving Up.

Another interesting fact about the refiner is that as he continues to heat the Gold it releases more and more of the impurities and as these are scraped away the less the surface distorts his reflection. The process is most complete when the refiner can see his reflection clearest in the crucible.

So, God….can you see yourself yet? Not quite? Drat… I guess I need to put my summer clothes on, its hot around here.

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