Purified by Fire
Have you ever had the privilege to watch glass blowing in person?
It is an incredible experience to see fire that is so hot, it's actually white.
And yet, as you watch, a glassblower will take a blob of melted sand on the end of his blowpipe, open the door to the white-hot blaze, and extend that blob into the fire.
That heat is hot enough that it will melt that sand into liquid that will become so purified by the heat, that when it cools, will be glass!
Do you have any idea how hot that white heat is? Hot! Per Wikipedia and sources previous articles I did (more on that later), I can share that it reaches temps up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that is HOT! (Note 1)
Now picture yourself as a glassblower, blowpipe in hand, extending your hands and arms towards that heat.
I had the privilege, while covering news, events, sports and school to learn about and visit STARworksnc near Star, NC. They have artists in residence for ceramics, glassblowing, and more.
AND, you can get up close and personal during the processes. Wow, we are talking master craftsmen or master craftsmen in training, here!
I was there for several events and got to talk to the glassblowers that were there at that time.
They were very patient, always taking the time to explain what they were doing and to answer every stupid question I could come up with.
Knowing me, you can probably guess that I asked to see their hands.
I wanted to see how much damage they received in pursuit of their love of making incredible works of art out of what began, essentially, as sand.
There were burns and other scars all over their hands, even when using specially made gloves, mitts, and towels.
They do other crafts as well, but I was focused on the glassblowing at that time because I was crafting a story about the most famous glassblower of all time - Abba!
We'll come back to that in a bit.
This meme from Facebook is what started this seed of an idea.
I am sure we all learned in high school biology or zoology that creatures incubated in eggs, such as birds, turtles, and more, will only survive if they have to break themselves out of said eggs when it is time for them to emerge.
If we oh, so helpful humans, try to jump in and help out, we are, essentially, killing that baby.
Kind of along those same lines, did you know that when you break a bone, if that bone heals properly, it is then stronger at the site of the break than it was before?
And, did you know that if two pieces of steel are welded together, at that point, that is the strongest part of that steel pipe, girder, or whatever?
My mind is a truly marvelous or frightening place to be when I decide to research things.
All of this really is going to come together and make sense shortly...I hope!
And, it will tie directly in to that meme shown above.
This is the point, however, where I am sitting here wishing I had kept all that research, all those stories, and had readier access to my external hard-drives.
Such is my life.
There are many places in Abba's Book that mention silver, and gold and the purification of both.
That is how Abba explains the process of purifying us. You, and me.
He is the Silversmith and we are the raw and flawed silver. Or gold.
The only way for Abba to purify us, well, think 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
But, Abba loves us way too much to not purify us. He will not send us into the fire to be refined alone.
Oh no, not our Abba!
He will not only put us carefully and lovingly into that fire, He will hold us in His hands until we are pure.
And, do you know how He will know when we are?
He will see His reflection when he looks upon us.
Not only that, it will be His hands and His arms scarred by the fire and bits of gold and/or silver breaking off and flying around.
If you have, or ever do doubt for a single millisecond that your are loved, completely, totally, and thoroughly loved by Abba, close your eyes and picture yourself in that fired held gently in His hands until you are perfect. Absolutely, 100% perfect.
Then, picture His burned and scarred hands that held you and protected you and brought you through and out of that fire.
Now, let's go back to that meme:
That's why Abba allows us to go through trials, to experience loss and heartbreak, to sin and then experience forgiveness and grace and mercy.
It's called growth.
Trial by fire.
Now, it's up to you.
You can trust Abba into and through that fire, or you can choose your own course.
But, please know that one does lead to everlasting, perfect life.
The other does not.
Choices. Life is full of them. We cannot let anyone else make our choice for us. So, what will your choice be?
If any of you have the slightest interesting in seeing more of the photos and videos I made at Starworksnc, let me know. I will dig them out and put something together.
Is truly fascinating to watch and hear the artists explain as they go along. Of course, I can't manufacture the heat of standing by that fire; that's all on your imagination.
But, let me know.
Thanks for checking us out. Look forward to seeing you next week.
Have a great week and stay safe and well!
For those interested, here is a video on purifying gold by fire: