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Refiner’s Fire

8 December 2009 72 Comments



I heard the story once of how precious metal, like gold, is worked in the fire.  The story goes that the metal is completely burned up inside the flame.  It gets so hot that it completely looses its original form.  It becomes almost liquid-like in state, as if no strength is left to make it firm.  Then the gold is turned over and over and over again until all of the impurities are melted off.  This process can sometimes take hours for everything to burn off.  Finally, the metalworker knows the metal is complete when he can see his own face reflected back in it.  This process of refining is something that I am learning closely during our time in Israel.  In the wake of abandonment, I am learning that things often get harder before they get better.  This month, I can relate a lot to the story of Jesus going into the desert after his baptism.  He had just had an incredible moment with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  The Father had descended on him and set him apart before everyone watching.  Yet in the wake of this incredible moment, Jesus didn’t go into dynamic ministry, instead he went to one of the lowest places in his life.  He was hungry and weak and was tempted in every direction.  This story always amazes me because I don’t normally imagine a desert experience right after a mountaintop, and yet that is exactly what Jesus went through.  So here I am in Israel, quite literally in the middle of the desert and a desert.  I am still processing what it looks like now that I have abandoned some things.  I am also contemplating exactly what God purpose in calling me on this Race is.  A lot of my time here this month has been much needed introspection.  And yet, just when I think I arrive at one answer, a thousand more questions come spilling out.  And thus the refiners fire continues to burn away the dross.   God is continuing to burn away literally everything that is my own, everything that I hold dear.  Even though these times are confusing, I know that in the end, the refiner will be able to see his own reflection.  I am thankful that the Lord has called me to a place where I must learn to rely on his at all costs, and not my own strength.

I am also thankful that he has decided to do so in a country that I love so much.  This is now my third time back in Israel.  I honestly still can’t believe I am here again.  Last week I got to lead a tour in Jerusalem and through the Galilee.  I got to watch as my teammates walked where Jesus walked for the first time.  It was really awesome fore me because I got to share with them some of the history and scriptures behind the places.  God used my previous trips here to bless others!  Yet again, God loves to bring things full circle.  We also have the opportunity to learn 3 times a week from an amazing scholar.  This man has incredible knowledge and we have the privilege to sit at his feet and learn about God, the Bible and Israel while we are here.  He also led us in our first Shabbat dinner last Friday night.  I am so blessed to be here.  Today we found out what we would be doing for the rest of the month.  My team will spend time loving on a wonderful single mom of 5 who is in desperate need of help.  This could not be a better fit for me and I am really excited about it.  We are also going to spend the rest of the month teaching English to Darf*r Refugees, yet another thing I am super excited about. 

So that’s an update thus far from my last month of 2009.  You might be curious how I am posting a blog if we are on a technology ban.  Well, the AIM staff decided that we were required to post once a week.  So it looks like you’ll actually be hearing from me more when I am banned from technology than when I am not lol.  So may this week be filled with moments of abandonment and refinement for us all.  And may we seek first the Lord’s will for our lives as we continue to lay down everything for the sake of the cross.

To my wonderful family:  Since I can’t access my email I just wanted to post on here how much I love ya’ll!!  You are so amazing to me and I am so blessed to have you in my life.  I am constantly encouraged by your love and prayers.  Thank you so much for them all.  We found out that AIM is actually lifting the ban on Christmas, so I will be able to call ya’ll!!  I’m not sure what time or anything, just be looking out for me.  I love you tons and tons and can’t wait to talk to you!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I love you!




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