Monday, June 1, 2009

Refined Like Silver

First of all, what a weekend! It was TERRIFIC! Even the trip to Ann Arbor was good. Drove out of the rain by Battle Creek, had sunshine...the treatment went GREAT thank you LORD! The needles barely even hurt, which is a miracle unto itself! Saturday Doug went up to Grand Rapids to help my dad at what's left of his greenhouse, breaking down benches, loading the truck with wood...and he took Jacob to his parents. I had the house to myself, all day, quiet! It was SO exactly what I needed. Therefore, yesterday I had a terrific day! I felt peaceful, no stress at all, I was outside all morning, we went for ice cream (GO Dean's peanut butter ice cream!!) and then planted up all my flower pots at like 8:00. Couldn't have asked or planned for a better day.

Now...I came across these verses...they aren't stangers to me, but it struck me afresh how important this is...and really, how comforting!

" 'In the whole land,' declares the Lord, 'two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; and I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I WILL ANSWER THEM; I will say, They are my people, and they will say The LORD is our GOD.' " Zechariah 13:8-9

You've probably heard this before, but as a silversith refines silver, he must hold it over the fire to purge the dross and impurities. He MUST, however, keep his eyes on the silver the entire time. If he turns away for a moment, it could be ruined. Too short of a time over the fire, and it will not be pure. Too long and it will be scorched, and worthless.

Beloved of God, I know that the fire hurts. I have walked through it and continue to walk through it to this very day. Sometimes the heat is hotter than others, but I KNOW I am not yet pure. I finally understand why James told us to "consider it pure joy" when we face trials, because we are over the flame, and the eyes of our Maker are upon us like never before. He is intently studying us, waiting for just the right time to take us off the flame.

I know it hurts...but do we want anything less for ourselves in the face of Almighty God? Do you want to be taken off too soon, and not get rid of that which God wants to remove because it is too painful? There are things in my life I am SO thankful are gone...for example, my addiction to nicotine. (Especially now that I have a trach...that would be a trick....trying to smoke through that!) I did quit years before I got really ill, but I was experiencing symptoms already. If I did not get this illness, there would have been many times when it would have been super easy to pick up the cigarette habit again. TOO easy. {Just a side note, I am SO NOT condemning anyone who smokes...I am simply using an example relevant in MY walk.} Then I may have reaped some of the natural consequences of smoking, and suffered much worse than what I have now...possibly even cancer.

There are many other things too, that God has worked on...my pride. Asking for help is NOT my idea of fun...but pride is a sin...and it DOES go before a fall...trust me. My selfishness. My need for recognition and power, my status in the professional arena...

So I want to encourage you to hang in there...I know it's hot. I know it hurts. I really do know. Just remember that the Eyes of The One Who Made You are on you all the time. You can call out, and He will answer. You ARE his child, and He IS your God.

1 comments:

Crista said...

Dearest Kerri,
AMEN! and AMEN!...Three years ago, my husband and I went "through it" for 15 mos....In the middle of it all (as we were experiencing atomic bombs on all fronts)...I asked the Lord..."Where are we right now?"...And He said, "You're in the oven."...And I asked, "Well, when do we get to come out."...And He said, "Soon".
I was thinking He meant right away, b/c we were so exhausted...little did we know that our "oven experience" would last onother 8 mos.! My definition of "soon" and God's definition were two totally opposite descriptions!
It was then that the Lord told me, "Crista, when you make a cake, you put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix it up and pour it into the pan to bake it. It's not done, until you bake it."...OK, I got it..."But Lord, it's HOT in here!"..."That's OK", he replied, "I'm in here with you."
~I can't tell you how many times I have prayed, "Lord, tie my flesh to the horns of the altar so that I won't crawl off...but will allow You to do all You want to do in me for Your Glory."....Not that I have attained all, but I press on..knowing that He Who began a good work will carry it to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus.
~Kerri, there is only one way that we will truly reflect the image of Christ..and it is the Way of the Cross...The Way of Life is death...
God bless you, dear and precious Sister.
Love always,
Crista