Refining Fire…

240000_570797812936556_1998554387_oA text to Lena… “I feel anxious today for some reason.”

Her reply… “Wonder why.  What’s on your mind?  Anything specific or just everything”

Me to her… “My mind is bouncing all over and won’t slow down.  Been talking to God, trying to gain His peace.  I can’t even listen to Christian music.  It’s all noise.”

She to me… “The devil likes to make noise for those who hear from God.”

The devil likes to make noise for those who hear from God.  Boy has the enemy been shouting in my ear these last few months.  From maybe two months leading up to March 19th (the two-year point when Mia was called home) until about a month ago, all I could see was my grief and misery.  All I could hear was the enemy telling me there’s no way I can get through this.  And I was listening, too.  I was listening to what he was saying, and I began to doubt God.  I began to get angry with Him.  “How could THIS be His plan for our lives?” I would ask myself.  “Why Mia, God?  Why such a precious and beautiful three-month-old?  Why my child?”  That was the reason for my last post.  I felt like I was giving up on Him.  But I didn’t.

Thank you to all who were praying and to all who offered encouragement and support.  He will bless you all for your faithfulness and obedience.  Your prayers, and mine, were answered.  You see, even though I was deafened by the roar of the enemy, I never stopped calling out to God.  I couldn’t do anything else.  I called on Him almost daily to deliver me from the sadness.  I cried out to Him at night, heaving great sobs of grief in much the same way I did when I was in the ER that terrible day.  I doubled over in agony when my emotional pain became a physical pain (I didn’t even realize that could happen).  As a child of God and a believer, though, I think I could still hear the small, still whisper in the midst of the maelstrom of my mind.  Subconsciously, I was grasping onto that lifeline and wasn’t letting go.  And He heard my cries.

We go through trials and storms and tragedy in life for reasons we cannot fathom.  The first verse I was led to after Mia passed was in Isaiah…

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”
– Isaiah 55:8-9

The thing about the terrible things we go through in life is that they refine us in Christ if we allow them to and remain faithful…which can be something as simple as calling out Jesus’ name when you are too weak to do anything else.  That gives God the opportunity to grow a simple grain of faith into a beautiful field of wheat.  When a blacksmith takes a raw strip of metal and heats it to a cherry red, he’ll take it out of the fire and hammer away at it.  You would think that the beating and the constant flames would deteriorate it into nothing.  Instead, the opposite happens.  The metal becomes tougher and stronger and harder…gradually taking the shape of a powerful and mighty sword.  A weapon given to us by God to cleave through the darkness and to shine His light for all to see.

It may sound selfish, but I’ve come out of the fire as strong as tempered steel.  I’ve got the tattoo to prove it (which I’ll post when the final shading is done 🙂 ).  I held onto that one shred of faith.  I continued to pray even when I couldn’t pray anything but the name of Jesus.  And He has taught me so much through this season.  Just when I didn’t think I could walk any closer…just when I didn’t think my faith could be any higher…just when I didn’t think I could hear Him any clearer…He showed me there was still so much more He could do.

I say all these things to share this lesson learned…no matter your circumstance:  physical pain, emotional pain, divorce, sickness, disease, noise, clamor, death…God is there for you through it all.  And all it takes is one small act of faith for Him to bring you through it.  It may not be how you want or when you want, but, if you endure, He will turn you into the wheat instead of the chaff.  The salt and the light.  His hands and His feet.  That’s what I want for you.  I want you to see Him in me and learn from my trials.  If He can speak to you through whatever I may have to endure, then I am all of these and more.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be for Him?

“Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble and keep on praying.”
– Romans 12:12

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8 responses to “Refining Fire…

  1. Great to hear you’ve passed through the flames my friend! Fight the good fight, even if more refining is to come. Much love to you and your family!

  2. Hi Guy don’t you just Love that golden rope of Love that God has around our heart connected to His Heart, He does not ever let us go, I will leave a link for you that made me stop and think and than rejoice, I received this story years ago by e-mail, at first I thought it was saying God hurts us to save us but than I remembered the Prodigal son and how he suffered till he came to his senses but Wow! what a welcome home.

    God’s golden rope – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/he-wont-let-go/

    But this is not about you Guy, you did not cause your suffering, sadly sickness and death are part of the evil in our world because of the fall and if God was to stop all evil now, He would have to end the World but He is patient not wanting anyone to Perish, meaning to be separated from Him eternally, He is giving His children time to repent.

    God does not want us to pretend to be Happy Clappy about our suffering, He is not a Sadist nor does He want us to be Masochists, He cries with us but as you have done Guy, we can see Him watching over us in every trial we face in life, even the raging fire of loosing a greatly loved child or other Loved ones and so we can rejoice and give thanks that He is always with us and never lets us go and for this I also give thanks and rejoice with you Guy.

    How can we know His heart of Love and good plans for us, we are not like the Old Testament Saints who did not have the confirmation we have, Pentecost had not come and yet they still believed in the goodness of God, the Holy Spirit was still working in their lives so they had the Hope but we have the Reality.

    We can know our Abba Father as this amazing Scripture confirms (1Corinthians2:9-6) but of course we may never know how He created us or even a tree or a fish but we will know His heart of Love for us and His good plans and so we will have no doubts that He does not hurt us and that it is not Him who afflicts us or causes us to suffer.

    God’s discipline and chastisement thankfully are so different than many claim, so yes we can Trust Him not to hurt us, which means we can Love Him, without Trust there is no real Love.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus -Anne.

  3. I get chills reading this. Praise God He has led you through the fire, and you’re still able to give Him the glory. Yes, we never stop learning. As my mentor has told me on more than one occasion. “Every circumstance is an opportunity to become more like Christ and give Him praise.”

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