“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:10-12 NIV
Life has a way of closing in on you at times and leaving you with realities that you did not see coming. The life you know today can chnage completely in less than 24 hours. We have no power or control over what happens to us in most cases, but we have complete control over what we do with what we have been given, whether comfortable or extremely painful. In life, we are continually making adjustments and changes as life requires them. As we adjust, we change and God is glorified in us. Job is an example of a life turned upside-down but also of one who found a way to see God in his trouble. He had a lot of voices around him that tried to figure out all that was happening in his life. But none of those voices had the truth. The truth was God was at work in the midst of all that the enemy was throwing at him. Job comes to a place where he declares, “I am keeping my heart right because I know God produces the rare and precious in places of obscurity.”
You see, gold can only come forth through the fire. We declare without a thought that we want the rare and precious things of God to be produced in us, but then whine when the heat is turned up. We can’t have it both ways. God is looking for hearts that can say, “ through the fire, through the flood, I have faithfully followed his steps. I have kept his ways without turning aside, I valued His word more than life itself.”
Gold cannot be purified without being tried by fire. Our lives cannot be purified without the trial of fire. We don’t like this, but this fire produces men and women of gratitude, men and women whose hearts are transformed. God knows the way we take. Is the road we take one that leads to Him or one that resists His fire? The thing we forget so often is, that this fire that consumes, only removes what shouldn’t be there anyway. It leaves behind rich and rare beauty. Why would we settle for anything less?
We become men and women who can declare like Job, while life is still uncertain, “I think I see gold.”
Today I am grateful for the purifying fires of God’s love. I have resisted them many times when I have not understood what was unfolding in my life, but I can look back and see that every time the fire was applied, I came out changed. I am thankful that He has not left me to the critical voices of the well meaning, nor to my own incorrect judgements at times, but He has faithfully come and reminded me that He IS God, and my heart can rest, and trust when I cannot see.