Thursday, December 11, 2014

Malachi 3:2 -- On Becoming through Hardship

"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:"
Malachi 3:2

This is interesting, because I think it explains why we have to go through hard things sometimes.  Like metal or cloth in its raw form, we are also raw, and we need to go through a process to become clean and pure.  As in a refinery, that might require burning out the impurities in the ore so that we are pure metal, free from dirt and rock and grime, and ready to be made into something strong and lasting.  Fullers in Old Testament times were people who cleaned and thickened freshly-woven cloth, making sure that it was consistent and clean.  As with that process, that might involve pounding and stretching, bleaching, and harsh soap to get out the grime and the imperfections, so that we as the cloth could be made into something pure and beautiful.
And aren't we like that?  Sometimes we like to think that we are finished products and that we don't need to change... but that's usually wishful thinking. :)  We all need to revise and rethink and reform sometimes.  We stay busy throughout our lives altering our perspectives, finding the gaps between what we are and what we want to be--and even between what we want and what God wants for us--and then altering again.  It definitely isn't always a fun process.  Sometimes we worked hard on that stain, and we kind of want to keep it.  Or we wanted some rock, and not to be pure metal.  But in order to become what we truly can become in the master's hand, we have to allow the purification process to go deep.  God knows better than we do what is needed, and what we can become.  Let's not cry that we can't remain ore, or wool.  Let's rejoice that we can become something better, with the Lord's guidance.

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