It had been a neighborhood mainstay, an unpretentious little car garage handling vehicle inspections, oil changes, and other minor repairs. My youngsters knew that a flat bicycle tire could be there fixed free of charge, often referring to the owner as their uncle, even though he was not their kin. Neighbors would meet in that garage to sit and chat, catching up on the local news while sipping a morning coffee. I knew I could always find a friendly face and a helping hand in that cement building, that old-time personal attention sadly lacking in today’s big-box-store world.
By the time our local fire trucks had arrived on that fateful day, the damage was done. Fed by oil, gasoline, and other flammables, the flames spread rapidly through that familiar business, enveloping the building and collapsing the roof. As folks watched in horror, our dear neighbor was whisked away via helicopter. After enduring months of hospitalization and rehab, he still struggles to recover completely from that inferno.
Those unexpected, fiery trials can consume us. I’m not speaking of the every-day potholes we all experience, but those life-changing, heart-breaking events that sweep through our lives just as the flames tore through that small garage, the type of trial Job faced as he buried his ten children, or that of a young Joseph as he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, or the pain echoing from the prophet Jeremiah crying out to his God from a miry pit. When severe adversity swallows our spirit, it can strain our personal relationship with the Lord, as our finite mind struggles to understand how a merciful, loving God could allow such pain for His children.
It is then we find consolation in the thought that these trials of our faith are “…much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire.” (I Peter 1:7) Just as gold is purified in the intense heat of the fire, our lives can be sanctified through the “heaviness” of trials. This heaviness is but “for a season,” even though while walking through that trial, it may seem endless. Our Father is at work, even though our finite minds cannot understand. My only recourse it that when walking through the flames, I trust in the One Who has endured the heaviest of trials for me at the cross. He understands and is ready to carry me (and you) through the flame.
I Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
Lord, keep me strong in the fire, safe in Your arms, and comforted by Your Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for never leaving our sides when we feel the heat of those trials, for being the Comforter Who is ready to carry us through.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-336-63d9d3c7b1524' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=336&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-336-63d9d3c7b1524' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-336-63d9d3c7b1524' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>