Today, I am meeting At The Well…and the discussion centers around sharing a story about how you have found complete fulfillment in your biblical purpose? For the last three years – since I became a grieving mom – I have thought much (MUCH) about “my purpose”. What could God possibly want to do with me and through me and the death of my son?
Certainly I have not found complete fulfillment but I am reminded over and over again of His faithfulness. He has not abandoned me nor was my son’s death random or outside of His plan. God has been very close to me these last three years and although there is much I still do not understand, I know He is refining me for His glory.
I am reminded of a story that was told to me by a friend as a true story. I cannot say for sure it is true but I heard it that way. A man was traveling and while exploring the native area, he came across an old gentlemen sitting beside a stone oven, tending a large chunk of metal that he was holding over the fire…..a refiner, if you will. The man was very intrigued and began to question the gentlemen. He learned that the refiner had to maintain the fire at just the right temperature….too hot and the metal would scorch and be ruined – not hot enough and all the impurities would not melt off. However, he was amazed when he asked the man, “Well, how do you know when the job is done?” and the old man said, “Oh, that’s easy. I know the metal is perfect when I can see my reflection -an image of myself- in it.”
I love that image. For, in Malachi 3:3 it tells us “and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ is our refiner, we are the metal and the trails, heartaches and challenges we face each day are those things which the Lord can use to mold us into His own image.
These past three years have been a refiner’s fire. Do I completely understand God’s plan or do I clearly see all He is trying to teach me? No. But God has been the faithful refiner who has never walked away from the fire – never even turned his head – and He is in complete control. And, as far as my purpose, I truly believe if I will be but patient, I can one day claim I Peter 1:7 as my own. It says “that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”