Yielding to the Fire

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I recently read these lines in one of those novels that we female types enjoy from time to time: “Find someone to love and pour your heart and soul into it. Some people were like pottery. They had been tested in a fire just hot enough to make them capable, but perhaps not yet durable. But…was fine porcelain. Delicate, yet purified in white-hot flame reserved for those who would stand every test thrown at them.”

 

Ah, yes, we love those lines and in our dreams we hope for and imagine someone who will be that prince who comes for us and takes us off to his kingdom to live happily ever after.

 

If we discover the prince who chooses us or whom we choose, does not quite fit that description, we can become very disenchanted. We may start to wonder if the prince is a frog, but the truth is that few of us will marry a prince in real life. We will marry a mortal with various flaws and imperfections much as we are also.

 

But there is also another truth.

 

There is a Prince who has done just that and will one day soon return to take us to His Kingdom to rule and reign with Him forever. And He did and does love us and has poured His heart and soul into us, His body was broken and blood poured out for us. We hear or read that and nod in agreement, but barely know what that means. It is incomprehensible when we reflect on it.

 

The challenge for us is that though betrothed, we are still mortal and laced through with flaws and imperfections. To be prepared for that day of ruling and reigning, we must be refined. Peter talks about that in 1 Peter 1: 3-7 (ESV):

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

We are mortal, made of the dust of the earth, fashioned of clay it would seem. Clay is soft at the outset and unable to be of much use in that state until it is shaped on the wheel of a potter into the design he or she has in mind. Jesus is the potter and we are the clay, but once shaped in the design He has we must be fired to be purified and made fit for use.

 

Life on this earth tests us in many ways and forms whether by disease, evil, heartbreak, or any number of options we face as the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve whose enemy still seeks to claim us from the Prince who lives in our hearts. Who can say how many times our Prince allows that process to happen? He knows the design and purpose. In that we must trust.

 

To a mortal potter the firing happens at least twice. The first time the high temperature vitrifies the clay enough so when the finishing touches of glaze are applied, they adhere correctly. The temperature in the firing rises slowly to dry out the clay greenware. The bone-dry clay is fragile so the temperature of the firing must be just right and at the exact speed of increase to drive out everything in the clay that is not pure.

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This process results in the clay now being changed forever.  

 

The clay is now less fragile, but still not as durable as is needed. A second firing is needed after the potter applies the glaze. The skilled potter knows just how quickly the temperature of the second firing can take place and to what degree to bring the clay and glazes to maturity. (Do we get the metaphor? The human potter is bringing the clay to maturity…so is the Lord accomplishing in His refining of us.) When this process is complete and the pot is cooled, what is the result?

 

The fire has caused a remarkable change in the original clay. The pot has been changed from a soft, fragile substance into a delicate, rock-hard substance resistant to many of the things that would have destroyed the clay. It is sealed against all that may come against it.

 

How powerful a picture He has painted for us when scripture refers to the potter, the clay, the testing and firing.

 

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10 (ESV)

 

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10 thoughts on “Yielding to the Fire

  1. We never like the purifying through fire, but God does this so that we can be useful and helpful to others. He wants to bless us by empowering us to help others. I really enjoyed reading and learning from your post today.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your wise words with us at The Really Crafty Link Party. Sometimes it’s very hard to trust that God does have a plan for all of us. We may know that with our heart and mind, but it still takes a leap of faith to just trust.

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    1. Thanks so much for taking time to respond to this. It is often very hard. I think that is one of the beauties of our online connections in blogging…we can encourage one another and stand with and for one another.💕

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  3. “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10

    I love this scripture, and I pray that it can be said of me and my walk, in the aftermath of adversity. It is true that He knows the way that we take, and He walks beside us. There is a certain comfort in that.

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us today!

    Your neighbor at LMM link up. 😉

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  4. This is so interesting. I was a fine art major in my undergrad and even loaded up the kiln at our art department for the art professor, but didn’t know they would fire it twice! Interesting stuff, Pam! And it really folds in so well to what you are saying about God’s refinement of our hearts and lives. I’m currently studying in Hebrews 12 and there is so much talk about God’s necessary and good “discipline” of a believer’s heart and life that reflects the refinement you are talking about here today. Thanks for reminding me yet again of this important process I need to accept and embrace.

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    1. Wow, Beth! I just did some online research, but thought I was likely the last to know😂 Thanks so much for your comments here. Hebrews 12 is one of my favorite chapters and Hebrews 12:1-2 are among my top favorite verses. Blessings on your evening💕

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  5. Hi Pam ~ I find it easier to trust God with MY life than to trust Him with the lives of those I love, those who are going through the valleys, the fires, the storms.

    There, I said it. And I know He knows my heart and understands the leap of faith it takes to release those I love, over and over, into His wise and loving keeping.

    I’m guessing it’s that mama bear in me that struggles with not leaping in to rescue, fix, or save. I’m learning, but it’s a stiff learning curve.

    Appreciate your wisdom on this challenging subject today, my friend …

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    1. Ah, my sweet friend. You are not simply a mama bear, but a compassionate heartfelt counselor whose empathy could not let you NOT feel as you do.

      I get those feelings and tendencies and have had them to varying degrees over the course of my life, but at this stage/age I am able to rest a bit more as I reflect on the powerful ways the Lord has grown me and formed me when I went through such times. I know I am not an only child in His Kingdom and believe He will surely accomplish much in those I would seek to rescue.

      Love and hugs!

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