Job 23:10 – But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (NKJV)
Recently, I went to the cupboard to find a muffin to eat. I had baked some a few days prior. Oh my, was it ever dry! I immediately stuck it in the microwave, and it came out nice and hot, with much-improved flavour and texture.
When we bake, we add ingredients, we stir, we mix, and we put the mixture into a pan. Then we stick it in the oven (in the heat) in order to finish the process. After awhile, though, it does dry out. That is when the microwave comes in handy. We pop it into the microwave for a few seconds and it is almost like new. More heat has been applied to make it soft and warm, and often edible.
Aren't stoves and microwaves wonderful? Stoves cook our meat, potatoes, and vegetables. In olden days, they would provide the heat for the home. They bake our bread, cakes, cookies, and pies. Microwaves thaw out frozen food. They warm up food. They are amazing. How did we ever live without them? To perform these tasks, heat is required.
The older I'm getting, the more I'm realizing that to produce a finished product, we need heat in our lives as well. At times, we dry out a bit, so some more heat is applied to soften and warm us up a bit. Oh, how we resist the heat of tribulation, though! Our flesh doesn't like it. It is painful. Heat burns. But — look at the finished product! What do we see? If we look closely, we can see us coming forth as gold — as in our text today. It is a process. It takes time.
Zechariah 13:8b-9 – A third will be left in the land. I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, "These are my people," and they will say, "The Lord is our God." (NLT)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we do need heat in our physical daily lives to survive: heat from the sun, heat from the furnace in our long, cold winter months, and a mother's warmth. Yet we resist heat to shape us and mould us to become more like You. Help us to trust You — especially in the heated times of our lives. Amen.