My Mom died when I was 20 (she was 40 at the time). My College boyfriend of 3 years asked my Dad for my hand in marriage and then broke up with me. My husband suffers from a chronic illness (Crohn's Disease) and has literally spent up to a year in the hospital (collectively at different times) over our ten years of marriage. Surgeons have told us that he has been hours away from death. My Dad died when I was 32. I have lost all of my grandparents over the years. That covers some of the trials that I have had in my life...things that have shaken me as a person, tested my faith, and shaped me into who I have become now at the age of 36.
I have been "reflecting" this past week on my personal journey of faith. Trials and loss have been plentiful in my life. I know my refiner's fire well. Everyone has their own "story." Their own set of circumstances that contribute to who they become. I have lived both openly and honestly during the "flames" and I have also pulled out of the lick of the fire pretending to be purified, shiny and golden in order to appear like I am a "good Christian" while the corrosion slowly took over my heart.
There is a difference between going through a trial and allowing yourself to remain in the refiner's fire. Although you may not be able to leave your circumstances, remaining in the circumstances and riding the storm doesn't mean that you will come out the other side a better person-changed by the Lord because of what you have gone through. That is a choice made when you find the heat of the flames upon your soul.
I am writing today to encourage myself and anyone reading (I believe God has directed you to this blog if you are reading it.) to choose to stay within the refiner's fire when it comes. Be willing to be real. With others but most importantly with God. Bring your deepest questions, fears, desires, tears, and laughter before Him. Invite Him to reveal himself to your heart deeply. He loves you and longs for you to take your refuge in Him during the storms and trials of life. Looking back after the storms have passed, you will be glad that you did.
I love this Psalm written by David when he was in the Desert of Judah. I will share a small portion, but it is worth reading in it's entirety. Psalm 63:7-8 "Because you are my help, I will sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Cling to Him and sing in the shadow of His wings...
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You my Master
Ready to do Your will
Brian Doerksen / 1990 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing
(Copyrighted Material A Teachable Heart 2009)