It was early in the morning. Bryson, my grandson and I, were driving up the mountain to get freshly picked turnip greens to freeze for winter.
As always, our conversation was an insightful one. Bryson loves to learn. He watches discover channels so that he can learn about different things. I love that about him! I have learned a great deal from this young man.
He began to share with me something he had learned about making candy. He told me how they heated it up until it was so hot it was pliable. Then they created whatever shapes they wanted their candy to become.
With great detail, he shared with me how this was done. He then said, “isn’t it amazing what shapes you can make when things get hot enough, Nana?”
I replied, “Bryson, I can tell you something I learned about getting things hot enough to mold them.” He lit up and said, “tell me Nana!”
I shared the following story with him.
I have this wooden bowl. I have had it for many years. It is what I use when I make biscuits. I recently began to use it when I make homemade bread. I had this idea to heat it a little before putting my dough in it so the dough would rise quicker. I turned the oven on a low temperature and set the bowl in the oven. My intention was to leave it just a couple minutes to warm it just a little. However, I began to do something else. I got busy and forgot it was in there for several minutes.
When I remembered, I quickly jerked open the oven door and grabbed the wooden bowl.
To my dismay, it was soft in my hand. So soft it was flimsy. It was moldable. I thought, “oh no! I have ruined my bowl.”
Then I had another thought. I thought I could remold it back and let it cool and it would be fine. That is what I did. Sure enough, it held its shape and I have used it ever since.
Today, as Bryson and I talked about the effects of heat, I thought about what the Bible says about fire. Most of us do not think of fire as a good thing. It certainly doesn’t sound like a good thing, does it?
Yet, it may very well be what God uses to soften us. The fire, as we know, burns away things that do not need to be there. We burn brush to get rid of unwanted debris.
However, today, as I thought of the fire, I realized something else. Fire can also soften us to the point that God, our Potter, can mold us into all He wants us to be.
For me, personally, it has been the fiery seasons of my life that I have become the most pliable.
It was in times of great persecution that I learned mercy. It was during times of great pain and loss that I learned compassion. It was through times of physical pain that I experienced His healing touch. The greatest lessons I have learned, for me, have been as I walked through times of fire.
Isaiah 43:2 says; When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
The fire does not consume you…it’s God’s promise. But it can mold you. It will soften you, if you allow it to. Don’t be afraid of fiery times. Instead, recognize the awesome results of fire.
“When we abide in Him, our confidence will hold steady.” KP