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Refining – 2017-11-13

I was contemplating the whole refining process:
During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, there was a shortage of currency in the British Empire. Representatives carefully searched the nation in hopes of finding silver to meet the emergency. After one month, the committee returned with its report. “We have searched the Empire in vain seeking to find silver. To our dismay, we found none anywhere except in the cathedrals where the statues of the saints are made of choice silver.”
To this, Oliver Cromwell eloquently answered, “Let’s melt down the saints and put them into circulation.”
“For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
11 You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
12 You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.” Psalm 66:10-12 NKJV
During some seasons, our hearts melt within us…
During some seasons, affliction bows our back and our spirit…
During some seasons, we crawl through fire and try to keep our heads above water…
During some seasons, we are exhausted: physically, emotionally, spiritually…
But the next season is one of rich fulfillment…
The next season brings a purer heart, a purer, stronger spirit, a period of rest and renewal, a clearer focus, and an attitude of gratitude.
Often, the next season brings an opportunity to help others through their difficult season, and an opportunity to take what we have experienced and to allow God to work through His to His glory. We must go through the one season to come to the other – just like spring follows winter and fall follows summer, they must be experienced in order to arrive at the next.
The change of seasons is in the air… hang on, it’s coming.
In the meantime I search with anticipation for what purpose God will fulfill (through me?) in the next season. No matter what season we are in, it is the season of Hope:
seeds of Hope resting, slowly taking root, gathering strength under frozen ground;
seeds of Hope watered, growing, blossoming;
seeds of Hope providing shade from intense heat for others who are weary;
seeds of Hope providing color through autumn leaves, life slows a bit, and we prepare to enter the season of rest before the cycle starts again.
Seasons change… each has it’s own blessings and challenges.
I try to live each season as nurturing seeds of Hope… when I am burned and bloody from crawling through the ashes, I still grasp for seeds of hope, to look for life amongst the ashes.
We each choose what seeds we will plant. Hope, despair, encouragement, bitterness, negativity, promise… We choose daily what to plant, what to nurture, what to water, what to uproot…
“Hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”
Hebrew 6:19

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, grass, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature