Friday, October 7, 2016
An Air of Refinement
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
A while back, my husband, Danny, decides he needs to spruce up what we affectionately call the Orlando Cafe with white napkins. It amazes me that something so simple can be so elegant at the same time. The napkins certainly add an air of refinement to our dinner table.
When we've sufficiently soiled enough of the napkins, it's time to wash and bleach them. I hang them on our clothesline to dry.
But look what happens! All those stiff, starchy, pristine napkins are now a wrinkled, disheveled heap of limpness.
Luckily, there is a cure for that. Starch, a scorching-hot iron, and a firm touch.
It's a long and arduous process (Thank you, Danny!!!), but the results are well worth the effort.
And this reminds me of how God works within us. He takes us from unkempt, unruly sinners to upright, upstanding citizens of His kingdom. But it's not a painless transformation. As Isaiah says above, God will test us in the furnace of affliction.
Just as the cool, rumpled cloth of the napkin must come under enormous heat and pressure in order to be made new, so we, too, as we grow in our faith and trust in God, can expect to experience trials, tribulations and temptations that strive to weaken our faith just as God is attempting to perfect it.
So remember, when troubles surround you, God has your back. He will stick by you through thick and thin, even when you don't feel His presence.
God is refining you. Making you holy.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. ~Hebrews 10:14
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