Audrey and I took our oldest daughter to Cedar City today. She begins her second year at Southern Utah University on Monday.
Plenty of windshield time today. Lots of opportunity to talk and reflect.
While our oldest begins her second year of college, our youngest is a week or so away from finishing up her second year of life. So much to be grateful for at both ends of our children spectrum.
The refining fire is more than a little warm at times but we're grateful all the same. We have seen the Lord's hand again and again. He has set the boundaries beyond which the trials cannot pass. That's why He is the master refiner.
While driving home tonight, we talked about what refining does to precious metals. One of the most important things happens when the metal is heated. It becomes malleable. That means it is capable of being formed in the refiners hands into a thing of beauty and great worth.
Also, when the impurities have been removed, the metal is stronger than before.
We agreed in the end that just like fire does to precious metals, refining trials can make us more malleable in God's hands and strengthen us on the way toward becoming better sons and daughters of Christ. Nowhere have the fires of affliction been hotter than in the Atonement's Garden of Gethsemane and on its cross of Calvary.
As the one who paid the price for each of us individually, Christ is uniquely positioned to know exactly what we are going through. And that's why He is able to control the elements, including the fires of challenge through which we must each pass.
I love Him for it and will be eternally in His debt.