Through the Fire ~ The Master Refiner
After writing the story of my kidnapping experience, I considered the title for several months and nothing that I considered seemed quite right. The project of writing my story is something that I wrote off and on over the course of several years. One morning as I was preparing for work the title came to me. I usually spend a little quite time in the morning thinking about which clients I will see, what I need to bring with me for the day, and so on. I’m a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and work with families that have children with autism. On this particular morning, I wasn’t thinking about my story and then I had a random thought, “Through the Fire.” Since I was thinking about work, I didn’t put this thought together with the book. I pushed this thought aside and continued to prepare for my day. Again, the random thought, “Through the Fire”, went through my mind. I questioned, “What does that mean?” Then I had the thought, “The book title is Through the Fire.”
Over the next few months, I contemplated the idea of the title, “Through the Fire”. The more I thought about it, the more I saw the meaning behind the title. I feel I can’t take credit for the title, because it didn’t come from me. I’m just the messenger. As I read back the last line that I wrote, I understand that may sound very strange, but perhaps this is how we get help from the other side. What appears to be a random thought, may actually be help from above.
When I considered the title, Through the Fire, the first thing that came to mind was a blacksmith who works by heating pieces of iron or steel until the metal becomes soft so it can then be shaped into a work of art.
Next, I thought of the process of making pottery. I enjoy making ceramics as a hobby. When making ceramics, the firing process transforms soft clay to rock-hard objects that are beautiful.
Another example is how diamonds are formed as a result of extreme heat and pressure. This heat and pressure takes carbon and transforms it into glistening, priceless crystals.
Just as the metal, ceramics and diamonds are transformed through heat and pressure, so are we as we go through struggles, or difficult times. One of the best examples of this is Nick Vujicic. He was born with no arms or legs. He had many challenges to overcome to get where he is today and even contemplated suicide as a young boy. He is now a motivational speaker and shares hope, love and purpose. He has a beautiful heart and lives a Christ led life. When he was a child, he probably couldn’t imagine that one day he would be a motivational speaker, a husband to a gorgeous woman, inside and out, and a father. When we are in the middle of the fire, it’s hard to see beyond that point. Remember that your story isn’t over yet either. Nick has reached millions of people to share the hope there is in Christ. Life without limbs is the name of his life changing foundation.
Another life example is Bethany Hamilton. She was a very talented, professional surfer at the age of 13. She survived a shark attack; however lost her arm in this attack. She struggled initially and didn’t think she would surf again. She was brought hope through Christ and was able to work through the challenges (through the fire) and she is once again a world class surfer. She is also a motivational speaker who brings hope to people to overcome through Christ.
I don’t believe that Christ causes all of the suffering in the world; however I do believe that He is able to take any suffering or challenging time and transform it into something beautiful. He can transform the struggle into something that brings hope and healing to others. He is the master refiner. It’s difficult to believe when in the middle of struggles, but life can be even better than it was before the struggle.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
He has made all thing beautiful in its time.
The title, Through the Fire, is a reminder that we are going through our struggles and when we get through, we will be stronger and our hearts will be changed by the master refiner with love and beauty. There is hope! Your story isn’t finished yet!
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11