See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. Is 48:10-11
I was annoyed. I had been trying to get some of my clothes ironed but one crease on my pants wouldn’t budge. I ironed over and over and over. Amazing how adamant that crease was. But little did the crease know, I could increase the temperature; heat up the iron a little more and it would be no more. So I increased the heat, and ironed. Aha! The crease disappeared. The pant looked perfect. I was so delighted that I ran my fingers on the place where I just ironed but pulled back my hand instantly. It was hot. The crease disappeared in the intense heat the pant endured, but the pant looked beautiful and unaffected. Do you see where I am going with this? No? Okay, read on.
I wondered how many creases God has been trying to get rid off in my life that He was left with no other option than to increase the temperature. Just a little higher to steady your faith, to make you more selfless, to increase your capacity to give more or to make you love more. What’s happening you may wonder? You’re being refined and made perfect.
How God must love us so that He irons us in higher temperatures at times. The heat will wear off after awhile. And we will come out of the fire looking flawless and unaffected. So the next time a trial comes your way, remember your maker is ironing you to remove some stubborn creases that won’t go away in the current temperature. It requires more heat.
You can choose to stay away from the heat but you already know that ironed clothes look so much nicer. Take the heat and be transformed. Looking like Jesus requires a lot more heat than you think.
I have included a poem below that has blessed me when I was walking through a hard time.
The Refiner’s Fire
He sat by the fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore.
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mold as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems of price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Though we fain would have said Him, “Nay.”
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
As it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter, and yet more bright
And our eyes were so dim with tears,
As we saw the fire, not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fear.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us
With a look of infinite love.
Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause a moment of pain?
Ah, no, but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure!
– Author Unknown
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
But now, this is what the Lord says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine….When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Is 43:1-2