Thursday, January 15, 2009

Refineries Are Dirty Places

"But who can withstand the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap."
Malachi 3:2

Have you ever thought about what a refinery really looks like? The other day as I was reading my Bible and pondering what the process was like of taking gold or even clay and making a vessel usable. We expect the beginning process to have some dirt and mess associated with it, but have you ever imagined that even at the end of the exacting process there are still some messes made?

In 8th grade art class we had a teacher that really enjoyed his job and his artistic abilities. He desired to teach us to explore and expand our love of the different textures, mediums, and color. One of my favorite projects was with the use of copper. We were instructed to draw or trace a picture onto the flat shiny copper. Then we placed it in an acid tray which turned the shiny copper coal black. This is the same process we find ourselves in the day-to-day experiences of life. Starting out shiny and new, etched by the sands of time into a character and personality. But life has a way of getting us dirty and out of focus.

In the art class we took the dark and ugly piece of cooper, and with steel wool started to lightly scrape the black off the areas we desired the shiny light copper to be exposed. What a great experience when the first hint of this process actually working. Because we were not to put a lot of pressure on the copper with the scouring material, the layers were taken off. How good it is to know that our Lord will not put too much pressure on us as he scours the rust and decay from our lives as we submit to his artistic skill in developing us.

And when we look at the table and floor of our cleansing, we find the same condition of an earthly refinery, dirt and scrapings that are discarded no longer part of the yielded and refined vessel.

Lord, thank you for taking off the darkness from my life in layers so that I am not bruised and harmed, but loved and appreciated for the creation you have etched in your forever eye and heart for me to become. I submit to you to become the light and beauty of your created purpose.

A Fiery Flame For His Service,
Susan Storm Smith

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