In 1799, Conrad Reed discovered a 17 pound rock while fishing in North Carolina. His family used it as a doorstop for three years because they thought it was just a rock. John Reed, Conrad’s father took the rock to a jeweler in 1802. The jeweler identified it as a lump of gold worth $3,600.
That rock, that lump of gold, had been used as a doorstop for three years. It is one of the biggest gold nuggets ever found east of the Rockies.
You see, until the rock’s composition was found, its value was not known. Our faith is like that. Until we find out the composition of our faith, the strength of it is not known.
God does not allow trials to hurt us but in order for us to grow strong and to prove that we can endure.
On earth, gold is one of the most valuable materials. For centuries, it has been used as money. It is also used in industry and manufacturing. It has a trait that allows it to be shaped and formed easily. Did you know that a single ounce of gold can be flattened to cover three hundred square feet?
However, when gold is dug out of the ground, it contains other elements that must be removed before the gold is useful. The refining process takes intense heat. That temperature to melt gold is almost 2000 degrees Farenheit. It takes an incredibly high temperature to remove the impurities in the gold.
Our life as a Jesus follower involves a similar process. Sometimes we are surprised when bad things happen to us. However Scripture tells us that fiery trials are a part of the refining process for our lives. Rather than whining and complaining when the heat or trial comes, we should rejoice as we think of the result that will be produced.
That is so easy to say, but it is indeed hard to remember in the heat of the battle or in the middle of the fire.
Yes, the battle is the Lord’s. Yes, we know the end and that we have victory, but the messy middle, the means to the end is tough.
It has been said that you are either in a storm, going into a storm, or coming out of a storm. It oftentimes feels that way.
When there is peace, we need to enjoy that time. Storms and adversities are to allow us to see that we are not in control. We never have been. Daddy God wants to set us free from thinking that we are in control.
When our daily life is full of uncertainties, we need to look to God. We need to find our security in knowing Him. God is Master over the storms in our lives and over everything.
James 4:13-14 “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow? What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If this is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
If we are not going through a storm, others that we see throughout the day are in one of these situations: in a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm.
They may growl at you. More than likely, you have done nothing. It is the residue of whatever is going on in their lives.
Try not to let it bother you because you are not the problem. Love them anyway.
They may try to stir up dissension over things that are not really important. They just want to gripe, complain, or even argue. Try not to let it bug you because it is really about what is bugging them. You are just experiencing their overflow of negative emotions. Love them anyway.
People may lash out at you and you truly have no clue what it is about. Try not to let it bug you because who knows what is going on in their lives that is really tough. Love them anyway!
We are all so different from each other. We all have quirks and idiosyncrasies. Try not to get irritated when others do not respond in the way that you think they should. Love them anyway.
We need to extend mercy and grace to everyone wherever we go. We are all God’s children, and He loves each and every one of us.
The homeless…He loves them. The druggie…He loves them…The cranky and the crabby…He loves them. The drug dealer…He loves them. The prostitute…He loves them… The other political party…He loves them.
He loves us all. From the first to the last…God is love. He is in us. He is with us. We are in Him.
When we find ourselves getting crabby, cranky, and critical, we need to do a self-check. We need to pull off our glasses, and ask God to give us His glasses.
We need to see this old world through Jesus’s glasses.
Instead of getting critical and all in someone’s face, we need to take a look at the situation through the eyes of Christ.
No matter how dirty, no matter how messed up, no matter how far gone we think someone is, they are not too far gone.
God’s arm in not too short to reach into that messy situation and set things right.
Even in jail, God has some of His people there to reach out to those without hope and show the love of Christ.
No pit is too deep, no mountain too high, no ocean too wide, no desert too big for God to send a rescue team to extend a rope, a rescue basket, a boat, a helicopter, or an oasis for them.
When a door slams shut, there is always another door that opens or maybe a window to crawl out of. There is always a way when God is involved.
Are you in a place where a door has slammed in your face? Are you in a hard place? You are not alone. Look around. Put on your Jesus’s glasses. God is there. He is with you even when the enemy tries to put smoke and mirrors between you and God. He is there. He is as close as your next breath.
In fact, He is the air you breathe. He never leaves you or forsakes you.
Look around! If the situation is too deep for you, where is the means of escape for you that God has provided?
Look closely. It is there. God is always faithful!
It is our job to guard the oil of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are to stay in His Presence and walk in His Presence. In His Presence, there is peace and love. In His Presence, we can pray for others who are going through stuff and they have temporarily forgotten how close God is.
We are to guard and protect the flame in our lives. The flame of the Holy Spirit. We are to guard it and stoke the fire.
As with a campfire, we have to add wood to the flame so that it burns brightly and with passion.
How do we do that? We stay in His Presence. We spend time in His Word. We worship Him! We pray! We come together with others who love God as passionately as we do.
We chase after Him!
Guard your heart. Guard your mind. Guard you and your family.
Stoke the flame. Add wood. Add lighter pine! Stay on fire for Him.
Any obstacle that comes our way is an opportunity. We have to remember that we are marked by God. His hand is on us, and His greatness is in us. We are not a victim, but a victor through Christ.
And, yes, you can take that to the bank.