Into the Fire

Into the Fire

My daughter has done a ceramics project the last two years for her 4-H project.  The process she uses to make her craft is very similar to some phases we go through in our walk with the Lord.

The first phase of making a ceramic is to take the clay and mold it into something useful.  It takes a lot of work to mold the clay because it is cold, hard, and stiff until you start working with it.  I have gone through spells where my heart would become rather cold toward the things of God.  The only thing that would change my cold heart was to let God take my heart in His hands, and warm it with His touch and His Word.  I have also had times when I was very hard toward things the Lord wanted to do in my life.  I fought the work He wanted to do in me.  The longer He held me in His hand, the softer and more pliable I became, until He could finally mold me into what He wanted.

Once Rachel had finished the molding process in making her ceramic, she would have to set it aside for two weeks so that it could dry.  I have often heard people say that God has times where He puts us on a shelf.  I don’t believe that.  I believe that even when we may feel like we are just sitting there, God has a specific purpose in mind.  Just as Rachel’s ceramic had to set for two weeks so that it could absorb the shape she created it to be, God’s molding process in us may require that we sit for a while, just absorbing the work that He has done.  It may also be a time for resting, preparing us for the next phase of our journey.

In the second phase of making ceramics, the ceramic must go through the fire.  We also need to go through the fire at different times throughout our lives.  The fire is the process God uses to refine us.

In the next phase of making ceramics, you must paint the item.  It requires three coats of paint, letting each coat dry before you apply the next coat.  This would be similar to how we come through fiery trials.  As we are faithful to God, allowing Him to teach us during the fire, He ‘paints’ us with the colors of His glory. (II Corinthians 3:18)

After the paint dries, the ceramic must go through the fire once again.  As the ceramic goes through this last phase of entering the fire, the paint will become vivid in color, as well as developing a beautiful shine.

When we go through the fire, our ‘paint’ is the genuineness of our faith.  Once our faith is tested and proven real, our countenance becomes vivid, just like the paint on a ceramic.  We will glow with God’s glory.  (James 1:2-4; I Peter 1:6-7)

How is your ‘paint’ doing?  Is it vivid in color?
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

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