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Posts Tagged ‘trials’

A beautiful lady appearing on the cooking channel this week made a scrumptious looking orange pudding cake and I thought that looks yummy. I can make that recipe.

So, last evening I gathered the ingredients and combined them, step-by-step. I placed the ramekins in a baking dish and filled the container with water for their thirty minute beauty-bath.

Fifteen minutes into the cooking process I turned around and, holy-moley, hisses of steam gushed out the seams in the oven door, followed by an explosion, and the sound of shattering, breaking glass.

I yanked open the door and gawked at a baking dish in a zillion DSCF4450pieces on the racks, falling into the sizzling water filling the bottom of my oven. A fine layer of glass slivers lay scattered across the top of the partially baked cakes.

Slamming the door shut I reached for the cancel switch, punched it, and stood cemented to the floor. Shocked. Conferring with myself I asked, What happened? What should I do? And answered, Can’t do anything ‘til the temperature cools.

Oh my beautiful cakes. What a waste. What a mess.

I cleaned up the fragments, slivers and pieces of glass after dinner and thought how much worse it could have been. The dish could have held a grits, eggs, and cheese—not just water.

Thank you, Lord.

This morning I described the accident to a friend and she asked, “Did you put hot or cool water in the dish?”

“Why, I put boiling water in the dish. Aren’t you supposed to?”

“No.” She said, “The temperature difference must have caused theDSCF4452 dish to break.”

“Fifteen minutes into the process?” I asked.

I’m so thankful God doesn’t plunge us into boiling water to transform us into what He intends us to become. However, the moment we come to Jesus, confessing, repenting, and trusting Him DSCF2349to save us and wash us clean from the guilt of sin, the water bath of our sanctification begins.

Day by day—moment by moment, God controls the temperature of the conforming process, just like the silversmith purifying silver.

The smith heats the silver warmer and warmer, little by little, skimming the dross as it separates and floats to the top. Always controlling the heat. Not too hot, nor too cold. Watching as the impurities come to the surface, he scoops them out of the pot. Over and over this process is repeated until the silversmith can gaze into the pot and see his reflection in the purified silver.
Just like Jesus does with each one of us.

Does the refining process at times seem unbearable? Oh yes. And the whirlwinds of life tragic? Certainly. But God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us and “God causes all things together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:28-29 NAS). And all includes even the bad stuff.

I’m not a quick-study and sometimes I don’t listen or follow directions. As evidenced by the mess in my oven last night. But my Father in Heaven is merciful and patient. Scripture tells me, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, forDSCF3352 His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NAS).

He shapes and molds my character everyday, changing me into the image of His Son. But I often don’t learn ‘til He turns up the heat, allowing painful situations to surface, sending me running back to my Savior and Lord—Jesus Christ.

Have explosions of disobedience and rebellion left shattered slivers of sin’s fall-out scattered over your not-done-yet image in the mirror? Please don’t despair, God’s grace, mercy, and love is extended to you this day.

By the confession of your mouth and repentance of your heart, allow the water-bath of His Word and the fire of trials to bring the dross to surface. He gathers the sins of His own people, DSCF4115casting them behind His back—into the depths of the sea. Never to be remembered again.

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What mom or dad hasn’t heard these words? Many times. And what did you say to that frightened child? Be quiet and go to sleep? Did you fuss and tell your child you needed to sleep? Or did you get up, go to your son or daughter and lovingly give them proper comfort and instruction?

But where does a parent go when shadows fall like a shroud and pitch you into the depths of unknown terror?

If you haven’t been there yet, just wait. It will come.

Twenty years ago my husband had an aneurysm rupture in his leg. Petrifying weeks followed as we waited to see if he would loose his life or his leg. Waited to see if he would be able to work or still have a job. Waited for that time of unequivocal darkness to pass.

Until job loss, heart attacks, financial distress, deaths—all long black tunnels of fear, sucked the light from our lives and plunged us into the inky abyss of anguish. We couldn’t hop over ‘em, dig under ‘em, or run around ‘em. I sobbed, “Abba, Father, it’s so dark and I’m afraid.”

And when I cried, my Father was faithful to hold me, comfort me, and give me His strength. Strength to put one foot in front of the other.  One step at a time. And travel with Him through the sightless night back into the light. During that time I feared I might stumble and die in the process.

But God taught me there were lessons I must learn in the dark. Lessons I can’t see in the bright light of day. Lessons I must learn in the discipline of darkness.

This discipline required me to walk in lock-step with the Lord Jesus, forced me to focus on His face, instead of the things that creak and groan in the night. And reminded me to call out, “Daddy, I’m afraid.”

I only do that when I’m forced to abide behind the sooty curtains of heartache.

God shines the truth of His love on me in the light of day. But in the darkroom of trouble He develops the knowledge and understanding of my faith in Him. Then I see the profane and unclean things lurking in my mind, things I have refused to acknowledge in times of blessing. I see pitfalls and traps that would have entangled me, had I not slowed my pace and clung to Jesus. And I am convinced it is better to walk with God in the dark than to stand alone in the light.

But as sure as day follows night, turmoil will pass and His light, like the sunrise, will disburse trials and tragedies. I will blossom again, strengthened by His comfort to know when darkness returns all I have to do is cry “Abba, Father—Daddy— I’m afraid.”

And if you’re His child, He will wrap you in His arms of comfort and carry you through ’til morning. Because He loves you.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but  you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15 NAS).

“What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee” (Psalm 56:3 NAS).

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