The Firing Process
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
If you truly know me, you would know that I have ALWAYS loved art. If I could have went to art school and become a millionaire (smile) I would have. I love drawing, painting, and have a special place in my heart for sculpting and making stuff. I would always have my artwork entered into art contests and would always win something. But it was something about making a sculpture, be it a clay bust, a profile or bowls—I did not like coil pots lol! The clay in your hands; it makes me imagine the story of the potter. But the best part to me was once I got my work of art completed and ready to be baked, it went to the kiln and was fired. Before you got to that point, in the beginning, you have to knead the clay, get all the air bubbles out by rolling the clay and putting a little water on it to make sure it did not dry out before you made anything. Then you would make whatever you wanted, one time I’ll never forget, we made clay faces based on the American Girl Addy. We made her entire family. I still have one of my little sculptures—well my mom does. Next we would put them somewhere to dry for a day or so then they would get sent to the kiln. The firing process is serious because after that, you cannot go back. The only thing you could do is stain your work and seal it with a glaze—or you could paint it then seal it. To be sealed, it had to go back to the kiln. You had to make all of your changes before it was sealed.
We come from the dust of the earth—like clay—and are formed by God’s hands in our mother’s wombs. God shapes us and molds us with different situations, constantly working on us to get the imperfections out. Sometimes we go to the kiln and get ready for that glaze. Then He will notice that we need to go back and bake a little longer, still some imperfections in there. God kneads us and rolls out the air like dough. He irrigates us with the water to smooth away the lumps and sometimes He pounds us to make us into what He wants. All the while, at the finished result, He will be glorified. Resisting won’t make it easy; in fact it will make it much harder, like clay that has sat out one day too long without water or being covered up. God Himself perfects us—through suffering and trials. But He also guides us through by teaching us to trust His way.
Things that do not come out right after the firing simply get broken and thrown away. Whereas God never throws us away, He is the master potter and keeps working on us until we get to perfection. God does not throw us away; we throw ourselves away. We decide that we can go it alone and make it without Him. We cast ourselves into the world and the world’s way of living, bringing much more harm to ourselves than with God guiding us.
“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.” 2 Timothy 2:10