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Fire by Trial

May 14, 2010

Our generation has become friendly with the feelings of bitterness and cynicism.  I feel it within myself when I am the least bit slighted, forgotten or abused.  There is a plague of disillusionment that has infected a great many of us.  It slows the souls in churches, schools, government, entertainment, etc.  Even Conan O’Brien noticed the trend during his farewell segment before being ousted from “The Tonight Show.”  It is all around us, it finds its way into me and maybe even into you.

Our stories and trials create an etching within our lives. Psychologist Dr. Irving Yalom writes, “Only the wounded healer can truly heal.”  This made considerable sense to me based on a sermon I heard last week at church.

Our old English pastor was in town and he spoke about his wedding band that was handed down to him generations ago and one in which he has worn for 25 years or so.  It was falling apart now, crumbling.  In no way was it a symbol of his love for his wife.  Instead of wearing it until it fell completely apart he was given the recommendation to melt it down and recast it.  The melting and reshaping process would make the ring brighter, stronger and more pure.

Trials are the fire that shape and form us. Kansas City based Waterdeep exclaims, “You gotta let the fire burn you just to get clean within.” Unless you have a stick with marshmallows on the end, fire is not fun or comfortable.  Trials make us eat chocolate cake and lose our hair.  But we can look at them as obstacles to avoid or view them as identifiers, molders, re-casters.

A friend of mine told me once that when God gives you a gift, the difficulties of life won’t detract from that gifting but instead will add to it.  The heat of trials will burn away all the fluff in your life and make all the rest of you brighter, stronger and more pure.  Allowing yourself to grow from your trials will add to your God-given abilities and allow you to have the empathy to love and help those around you.  Trials aren’t pleasant but they move us forward.

Do you believe it?

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