I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently. He asked me what was next…aka: “the big plan for my life”.

He said, “You work as a nurse, but you have an extensive background in ministry and a huge heart for the Kingdom. So what are your next steps?”

Sigh. Tears.

Is it really even up to me??

Out of any real answers, I said, “I don’t know. I. just. don’t. know.”

And sometimes, I guess that’s all we DO know, right?!

I told him that I really believe the answer lies within this season of holy rest, and that’s why I feel like understanding the Sabbath is crucial to moving forward in my life. But beyond that, I have no “plans”.

Sensing my frustration and discouragement, He told me about what happens to gold when it’s being refined. It’s a story that has changed my perspective, and serves as a visual reminder that I carry in my heart as I process through this life season (one I’ve been reluctant to embrace).

REFINING….here we go.

Gold is melted in a crucible. When it gets to a certain temperature, the impurities start to separate out from the pure mineral components. A goldsmith actually calls the process agitation because at this point, the gold actually tries to “jump” out of the crucible requiring him to keep his eyes fixed on the precious metal, never diverting his attention.

The goldsmith knows the moment of perfect refining….it’s key critical…and it’s one for which he’s been uniquely trained. Yes, the moment when he can see his reflection in the liquid gold is when ALL impurities have been extracted and the gold has been perfectly refined.

Does any of that sound familiar??? It sure resonated with me!

I am IN the crucible right now. The heat has been turned up and I’m agitated. I wanna jump out of my refining bowl.

It hurts. Stretching, pushing, pulling is happening in my bowl. And I’m tired.

But how great is it to know that while I can’t escape it, my Master’s eyes are fixed on me…UNWAVERING!

You and I have to look for joy in the midst of pain or uncertainty or we’ll take a miserable swim in the sea of loneliness. There are plenty of hungry sharks that live in that sea and oh, how they’d love to get a hold of your joy and shred it to pieces. Don’t let them, friend!

“… for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

I’ve found that thanking God for my need is one way to cultivate a heart of gratitude, and draw strength from joy. From that place, I’m humbled as I remember that it really IS God who is the giver of ALL things and I am dependent upon Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Shackles of pride and chains of idol worship break off as my words of gratitude turn the key releasing me from a false prison that self reliance built.

While I don’t know what God’s plans are regarding vocational ministry and what that will look like in my life I’ve been brought to the crucible for the purpose of being REFINED.

And I take joy in knowing His eye is on me through the process. What a promise!


One Response to “Refined”

  1. Caroline Says:

    I love what you said girl! God is the giver of ALL things! Trusting Him even when I don’t understand!

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