Another DVO reflection on how faith that is tested can become stronger, purer and more authentic.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold…
1 Peter 1:7 (NLT)
When gold is first pulled from the earth, it's rough, dirty and misshapen. Before it can be fashioned into priceless pieces, it must be refined by fire. Heat detoxes raw gold making it pure and authentic. Once refined, it can be shaped and moulded into whatever the creator desires.
Unless faith meets resistance, or fire, its potential and power stays unrealised, like a dirty hunk of gold covered in earth. Refining always separates what holds us back from what can drive us forward. In fiery trails we learn to let go of fear, hatred, anxiety… things that corrupt our heart, dull our shine and limit our potential, and we learn to embrace the fire and its burn, knowing that it reveals the gold within.
Gold that has been through many refinements becomes soft and supple. Fiery situations can cause us to harden our hearts to God, others and life. But FAITH keeps us soft through trials and pain. It keeps our hearts responsive to the grace and leading of God. Faith connects us to hope, and through hope, softness and vulnerability to the love of God is continually injected into our lives.
Ez 36:26 says "…I will take out your stoney, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." Don't let challenges dump emotional cement into your soul, stiffening your heart and crippling your journey. But let faith massage out the muscles knotted by fear, let it knead out, like rough dough, offences and hatred. And let the heat of it bubble up the dirt we accumulate through life so that it can be scraped off and thrown away by the soft hands of grace. Afterwards, the gold that remains stands brighter, more confident and full of hope.
When you feel the heat in life, don't be downcast or afraid. Allow faith to rise up within you, lifting your head, filling your heart with the confidence that God will lead you on from this moment and the fire will not consume you. You can keep on going and you will come through the other side of this fire with a stronger back and a softer heart.
Let faith turn your fiery experiences into moments of gold.
Very sad news... Tony Doyle (Old Xav. - former pupil of mine) has passed away suddenly. Please keep him and his family in your prayers and thoughts. We will pray in our community for Tony and all the family. My heart goes out to them all. I have very fond memories of teaching Tony: a lovely personality, always smiling and joking.
The article that you will find here contains a very pertinent analysis of Neill Blomkamp’s wonderful film "District 9" in the light of the current refugee crisis. Here's the start of the article: "Sometimes the best way to approach the horrors of the real world is indirectly, through fantasy. Allegory can make important points free from the journalistic burdens. On its release in 2009, Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 was acclaimed as a clever sci-fi/action movie that used a story about alien refugees to explore South Africa’s shameful apartheid past.
But today it’s imagery and ideologies have a new resonance. Eight years after its release, as Europe struggles to cope with the ongoing migration crisis - and as media and politicians seek to dehumanise the most vulnerable of people - District 9 is more relevant than ever."