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Different Metal, Different Furnace

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts. – Proverbs 17:3 NKJV

Gold or Silver

In case you were not aware, there is a difference between gold and silver (Well, duh!). Seriously, there is a difference between the two, and that fact should not be taken lightly. Gold is gold, and silver is silver. Obvious stuff, right?

Well, sometimes the obvious is profoundly important.

Gold is extremely valuable, but is soft and pliable. Silver is not as valuable per ounce, but is nevertheless a harder precious metal. Gold is highly sought after and coveted; silver is more common, but is still critically important for a wide range of applications, everything from electronics to medicine.

How one refines gold, compared with silver, is not the same. What’s more, the temperatures of the refiner’s fire is hotter for one than the other.

What R You?

When I read Proverbs 17:3 the other day, something obvious proved to be very profound: depending on how God wants us to be used, each one’s trial by fire will vary in intensity, the heat of which will determine what metal we are made of.

gold furnace

Source: The Australian

Unlike gold and silver, we are human; our qualities and usefulness change. Some days we are made of gold, while other days we are silver, but most of the time it is hard to determine which. That’s when the Refiner turns up the heat.

There is a lot to refining gold and silver. Not only is there heat involved, but various acids, too. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when God not only allows us to endure intense pressure (heat), but permits the caustic, painful situations of life to eat away the impurities within us.

God is the refiner of hearts.

Iron Man

But, you know what? Gold and silver, while both rare and beautiful, will never make good axes, swords, cannons, I-beams for skyscrapers, or bridges across raging streams.

Sometimes there are jobs that can only be done with iron.

Don’t feel special? Don’t think of yourself as gold-like? That’s OK! You’re important, too! As a matter of fact, the melting point of iron is nearly double that of gold.

You may think what you are going through right now is far tougher than anything a “golden saint” might deserve. Don’t lose hope; the fires forging you are instilling a strength that may be needed to wage war against the Enemy, support the heavy loads of many, or bridge the gap between understanding and ignorance.

Don’t curse the furnace. Let the Refiner do His work.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, General Observations, Life Lessons, self-worth, Struggles and Trials

Different Metal, Different Furnace

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts. – Proverbs 17:3 NKJV

Gold or Silver

In case you were not aware, there is a difference between gold and silver (Well, duh!). Seriously, there is a difference between the two, and that fact should not be taken lightly. Gold is gold, and silver is silver. Obvious stuff, right?

Well, sometimes the obvious is profoundly important.

Gold is extremely valuable, but is soft and pliable. Silver is not as valuable per ounce, but is nevertheless a harder precious metal. Gold is highly sought after and coveted; silver is more common, but is still critically important for a wide range of applications, everything from electronics to medicine.

How one refines gold, compared with silver, is not the same. What’s more, the temperatures of the refiner’s fire is hotter for one than the other.

What R You?

When I read Proverbs 17:3 yesterday during a Sunday School class I teach, something obvious proved to be very profound: depending on how God wants us to be used, each one’s trial by fire will vary in intensity, the heat of which will determine what metal we are made of.

gold furnace

Source: The Australian

Unlike gold and silver, we are human; our qualities and usefulness change. Some days we are made of gold, while other days we are silver, but most of the time it is hard to determine which. That’s when the Refiner turns up the heat.

There is a lot to refining gold and silver. Not only is there heat involved, but various acids, too. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when God not only allows us to endure intense pressure (heat), but permits the caustic, painful situations of life to eat away the impurities within us.

God is the refiner of hearts.

Iron Man

But, you know what? Gold and silver, while both rare and beautiful, will never make good axes, swords, cannons, I-beams for skyscrapers, or bridges across raging streams.

Sometimes there are jobs that can only be done with iron.

Don’t feel special? Don’t think of yourself as gold-like? That’s OK! You’re important, too! As a matter of fact, the melting point of iron is nearly double that of gold.

You may think what you are going through right now is far tougher than anything a “golden saint” might deserve. Don’t lose hope; the fires forging you are instilling a strength that may be needed to wage war against the Enemy, support the heavy loads of many, or bridge the gap between understanding and ignorance.

Don’t curse the furnace. Let the Refiner do His work.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, General Observations, Life Lessons, self-worth, Struggles and Trials

Missing God

My Dad

My father (Terry L. Baker) passed away back in 1991. I miss him very much.

One of the fondest memories I have is running and jumping into his lap after he came home from work. I can still remember the smell, too. You see, my dad worked in an auto machine shop and was very acquainted with sweat, grease, metal shavings, and Varsol. But even his words of “Don’t jump on me, son, I stink” never made a difference. When he finally got home, all I wanted to do was run to him (tears fill my eyes as I write this).

Another memory is his old (new then) 1968 Ford truck. It didn’t matter where I was, whether it be at school, the baby sitter, a friend’s house, or wherever; the sound of his truck was as distinctive as a fingerprint. I could hear him drive into a driveway, but more precisely, I could hear the distinct, redemptive sound of the shutting of the door. Whenever I heard that sound it meant my dad was there to take me away with him. What I wouldn’t give to hear that sound in my driveway right now.

I miss my daddy. I miss being his son. When everything seemed scary, wrong, broken, or hopeless, my dad would show up and let me know everything would be alright. Even when I got too big to jump into his lap, just being with him made me feel safe, loved, accepted, and never alone or intimidated. He was our family’s rock.

My God

There are also times when I miss my God.

For example, I have been taking a required biology class which requires me to read a secular, humanistic textbook. Do you know how hard it is to experience the joy of learning when all you read is telling you that your Heavenly Father is a myth? I can see His handiwork in the obvious design of this world, all the way down to the sub-atomic level, yet I am told “evolution” is my “real” parent. Why shouldn’t it make me feel cold and alone?

Also, I have been surfing the “tags” on WordPress.com. How depressing it is to find that so many of the articles included under the tags of “religion,” “Christianity,” and “God” are all hateful, atheistic, snide comments made by self-justifying Libertines secretly hoping God is a lie. Sometimes, on occasion, I don’t want to read them for fear that they might be right, and I might be alone, that there is no hope, and that life is meaningless.

That’s when I cry, “Abba! That’s when I just want to run into His arms, jump in His lap, feel His embrace, and stick my tongue out at all the ones that deny Him.

I don’t know what it will sound like when my Father comes to take me home. I may hear the sound of a trumpet, or He may just whisper in my ear while I sleep. But if God had a truck…..well, I’ll recognize the sound, whatever it is.

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” – 1 John 2:28 KJV

(Even now, tears fill my eyes more than before as the Hope of Glory fills my longing soul. But if He ain’t your Daddy, you wouldn’t understand.)

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Filed under God, the future, worship