Crucible: 1. A container made of a substance that can resist great heat, for melting, fusing, or calcining ores, metals, etc. 2. A severe test or trial
“As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan, so our lives are assayed by God” Proverbs 17:3 (The Message)
Well, it feels like it anyway. In this Central Valley of California, it is not uncommon to have multiple days in a row with temperatures over 100 degrees. This year is no exception and it technically isn’t even summer until this Saturday. I’m also melting from the ticking of my biological clock. At 52 years old, my body is changing from a reproducer to one that never will again. And multiple times each day every pore of my body produces droplets of sweat and my face turns beet red for several minutes. I seriously feel like my skin is going to singe off! But neither one of these things are what is causing the melting. Lately it seems that whenever I take one step forward, I end up sliding all the way back past where I started. I want to cry (sometimes I do!) I want to scream (I do that too!) I want to run away. But where does one run when one is being melted by The Almighty God?
I lead a Bible Study and I have to be honest…I think I get more out of it than the women who attend. Preparing the lessons seems to drive home the honesty of The Word much deeper for me than for them. I also attend two other Bible studies currently and will be teaching The Life Of Moses to little people in the Fall. So I’m pretty sound on the promises of God. I’m pretty sure of His Character and His incredible Love for me. So why then, when I answer a question in my workbook or find a verse particularly applicable, do I find myself thrust into a situation where I’m eating my own words? Why do I feel like such a hypocrite when I can’t even live out my own prayers? What the heck is going on? Are they attacks from satan? Is it because of the fallen world we live in? Or is God trying to refine me, shape me, change me into someone I have yet to recognize?
So if I’m being refined, and I KNOW it’s for my ultimate good, then why am I resisting? Why am I struggling? Why am I surprised when tests and trials come in the form of rude clerks, difficult family, hurtful comments from friends, surprising (rock your world surprising!) photos and posts on social media? I ultimately want the refinement. I want to be a better servant, lovelier person, more highly regarded daughter with greater responsibilities given me from my King. But time for some brutal honesty here…I want to be better without the pain it takes to get there. I want the thorns removed without the pain of removal. I want the new shiny pink skin without the debridement of the old nasty scarred up stuff that I no longer need.
Lord help me to be willing to persevere through this Summer of the crucible. Help me survive the changing. Help me not to fear writing an answer in my workbook or preparing for Bible Study because I know it’s going to come back in real life situations that will test me. Help me encourage others and not fear the applications in my own life that will undoubtedly come up. I am excited and yes, hesitant as well, to see what I look like when this season finally is over and I am done, at least for the moment, melting.