A Simple Piece of Iron? Can I Shine?

There is no time to be bored in Old Fort Langley. This is your chance to return to the 1830s and experience life as it was in pioneer Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

My youngest son and I were especially intrigued by the blacksmith. As he patiently created one of his many masterpieces, he took the time to explain each step in the process of turning an unattractive piece of metal into a work of art. We were fascinated as he repeatedly heated the iron in the fires of his forge and then placed it on his anvil and shaped it with sledges and hammers.

I could just imagine myself as that piece of iron. I could see myself looking at the fire and the anvil, I could feel myself shutter at the sight of the sledge and hammer, I could hear myself crying out: "Why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? Ouch! Stop that! That hurts!" I would have had no idea that all of this was necessary in order for my master to form me into a work of art!

As we were watching with fascination, the flat piece of iron was transformed almost miraculously into a beautiful leaf. When we examined it more closely, we were amazed to realize that it even displayed the intricate parts of a leaf!

But although its form was now beautiful, it was dull black in color. Once again it was heated red heat on the open forge, and then the master craftsman scrubbed it down with a bronze brush. In moments that dull appearance brightened up until a hint of gold reflected off of its surface. That little leaf was now fit to be worn even by a king!

This masterpiece now dangles with my key chain. I am reminded daily that I was once plain as well, dirtied by my many sins and addictions, but praise be to God, my Master is taking the time and effort to forge me into His image. It's true that I have often viewed the process with disdain, but I have received the outcome with joy and gratitude. I am now considered royalty. I am one of the King's sons!

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Cor 3:18 NIV)

"Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Rom 8:14 NIV)

It isn't any fun to go through trials and tribulations, but instead of despairing, let's spend out energy anticipating the glorious final product. When we do, our whining will be transformed into songs of praise!

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4 The Message)

If you find yourself lost amidst the afflictions of life, turn to our Master. He will come to your rescue. His specialty is just that: helping His children! "If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it." (James 1:5 The Message)

Can you turn the fire down please? It's kind of hot in here!

Would you prefer to remain a simple piece of metal?

Rob Chaffart

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