How is your heart these days?
Is it well? Is it worn out? Is it hurting? Is it broken? Or is it in flames?
Does it need to be resuscitated? Does it need to be fixed? Does it need to be transplanted? Does it need to be healed?
Or maybe it needs to be refined.
Refining is all about making something pure. When we hear that word, gold and silver come to mind. They are two precious elements that are often found embedded in other rocks, minerals, and chemicals. Hidden and hemmed in other rocks, for gold and silver to become pure, they have to be placed in a blazing, hot furnace to burn off the impurities that were formed around them. That’s refining.
The metaphor of refinement is used several times in the Bible, including when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were put in the furnace. God is telling us that we also must be put to a test, in the flames of a furnace to make us pure.
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:35)
It can be difficult. It can be a hard challenge. It can even be painful. But it’s restoring.
I’ve been reading a book this Lenten season by Kris Camealy, “Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement” (which I’ll refer to sometimes). It has guided me through a refinement I’ve needed for a while. I think I have a long way to go, but I’ve been trying to process, learn, pray and obey what God’s Spirit has been teaching me through this refining process. One of the best ways for me to process it is to write it out.
I’ve been leading an online Bible study for five years and this Monday we’re going to start a new one I’m calling: A Lenten Journey (I know, really creative, huh?) For the first time, I’m shyly going to share my thoughts not only with my Facebook group, but also here on my blog with whoever reads it.
So, I hope you’ll join me tomorrow on this journey. May our hearts be revived and renewed – even if it makes us go into a furnace first. I ask God’s Spirit to write through me the next three weeks as we await the CELEBRATION of Jesus’ resurrection.