One of my least favorite chores is ironing. Yes, I would rather scrub the bathroom than iron. As a result, some of my favorite blouses tend to be cotton/poly blends which, if you don’t already know, require almost no ironing. That’s today’s free tip, and you’re welcome. 🙂
I’m much more friendly with the flat iron for my hair, which is a good thing, because the 70s happened before I was born.
What do regular irons and flat irons have in common? They use heat to smooth out wrinkles or straighten stubborn waves.
Sometimes, I think God turns up the “heat” in our personal lives to work out some spiritual wrinkles or use the pressure to mature us. Many times in the Bible, we see fire associated with testing or purification, and I want to look at two of those examples today.
When I was in middle school, my brothers and I did 4-H for several years. I was even elected to the enviable role of Refreshment Committee member, which essentially meant nothing. Our moms organized everything.
One craft was to shape clay, apply a color coating of choice, and then place our creations in the oven to “set.” Going into the oven, my clay design was rather bland. When it came out of the oven, it was still unimpressive–but it was pretty. The heat had transformed the outer shell’s coating into a deep, glossy blue that was smooth and shiny.
I’m thankful God is a much more skilled Sculptor than I am! He’s at work in your life and mine, molding us to be who He wants us to be. He might have to work out some lumps, and the heat might hurt, but in the end, we will come out vessels for the finer.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8 NKJV)
I know little about metallurgy, the science of working or heating metals, but this basic concept I understand: The way to refine metals is to heat them. The heat purifies the metal, burning off the “dross,” or waste product, and leaving behind the metal.
Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived, observed this truth in Proverbs 25:4.
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. (KJV)
On a spiritual level, God often refines His children. To remove things that don’t belong in our lives, He puts us through the fire. Or sometimes, He simply wants to make us more like Himself. Conforming to His image doesn’t come naturally but takes some fire and time, as a gospel song says.
Molding and refining aren’t processes we wish upon ourselves, but they deepen our character if we respond to them with a humble heart.
Maybe you’re going through a trial right now, and you wish God would turn off the iron for a while. Perhaps life feels just fine at the moment, but you can look back at a time when God brought you through a tough experience.
Either way, remember this: If God didn’t care about us, He wouldn’t turn up the heat. His hand at work in our lives, even in the tough times, is evidence of His unfailing love.
I like what the Apostle Peter wrote in I Peter 1:7:
… that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (NKJV)
Wow! Our faith is more precious than gold.
I may never grow fond of ironing, but I recognize its purpose and place. And I may never be especially eager for God’s refining work in my life, but I know He has my best interests in mind.
Dear Father, thank you for caring more about our character than our comfort. Help us trust you in the fires of life, and may you be pleased with the work of your hands. May our faith be found for your glory. Amen.
When God Turns Up the Heat – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
If God didn’t care about us, He wouldn’t turn up the heat. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)