When I first started this blog I never dreamed it would take me through the refining fire. But as God, the potter, shapes and molds us, the refining fire is necessary to set us as a tool He can use.
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Starting a New Blog
It was November of 2015 when I took that step. I created it because I believed I had a calling to do so. I discussed this with my husband on a 3 hour trip we were making home after spending Thanksgiving with family. We got home with me full of excitement, ready to create this ministry that I felt called to. I got it all up and running and I was happy with it. I wrote my first post!
And then, I did nothing.
It sat. I published it, but I didn’t promote it. I didn’t blog on it. It just sat and it sat for a year!
Why? Why, when I felt called and was SO sure this is what God was leading me to do, did I let it just sit?
The answer is two-fold.
Make the First Step
For one, I didn’t have enough confidence in my own ability to write.
I had been writing since I was a little girl. Most of my family thought that I would be an author one day. My mother, before she passed, could tell you all about the first “book” I ever wrote when I was a young child, about a frog.
But over time I stopped writing.
So here I sat, looking at this blog for a year. I felt that, because I had been so out of practice, I wouldn’t be good at it.
You see, I felt LED but yet, at the same time, I was looking at my own ability vs. looking at God’s ability to work through me. If I felt called to do it, I should have had the faith to know God would equip me.
If I felt called to do it, I should have had the faith to know God would equip me. #proverbs31 #faith Click To Tweet
The second reason (and the biggest reason really because I already knew the answer to reason number one) was that I really didn’t think that I was someone other people would believe they could learn anything from.
I’m a Nobody
I was no different than any other woman out there, so who was I to assume to try to teach anyone anything? I had no education in theology, no degree in Biblical studies, no experience in teaching. So who was I?
Well, we know where those thoughts were coming from! But I bought into them.
I was a nobody!
Not only was I a nobody, but I was a messed up nobody!
I had multiple marriages, I had anxiety and suffered from panic attacks. I was a mess! Why on earth would anyone want to read ANYTHING I had to say??
But while I had myself convinced that I was doubting MY abilities and MY talent, the truth was it was really GOD I was doubting.
What I had to come to terms with was that God uses the plain and ordinary for the extraordinary. He has done this countless times in scripture. And He would do this again with me with the refining fire.God uses the plain and ordinary for the extraordinary! #usedbyGod #ministry #faithblog Click To Tweet
He took a shepherd boy and turned him into a King.
A grumbling fisherman and made him a leader of the Church.
He took a Hebrew who was “dull of speech” and had him lead the people out of Egypt.
And most of all, He Himself took the form of an infant…a baby lying in hay in a manger, to set the captives free…to give us eternal salvation!
And most of all, He Himself took the form of an infant, a baby lying in hay in a manger, to set the captives free, to give us eternal salvation! #grace #proverbs31 #amazinggrace Click To Tweet
God Chooses the Least Likely
He could have been anything He wanted! But He chose to be plain. He chose to be ordinary. And, I think I know why.
It is because it is the plain lump of clay that can be most easily molded into something beautiful as He takes it through the refining fire. And it is the plain and ordinary that we can most closely identify with.
Have you ever looked at a lump of clay? It is just that, a lump. It is a formless, plain piece of….well, nothing much.
But oh…the potential in that piece!
Have you ever looked at a lump of clay? It is just that…a lump. It is a formless, plain piece of well…nothing. But oh…the potential in that piece! #faith #provberbs31 Click To Tweet
The Refining Fire of God
The potter gets their hands on it and shapes it and forms it and puts it through the fire to turn it into something useful, something beautiful. It is original because the hands that made it won’t make any two pieces exactly alike.
It becomes set, it becomes tougher in the fire, and takes the shape and form the potter imaged in their mind. But the only way to turn it into what the potter wants is to put it through the fire.
That is the place where it loses its weakness and becomes firm and takes on the shape its creator gave it!The only way to turn it into what the potter wants is to put it through the fire. That is the place where it loses its weakness and becomes firm and takes on the shape its creator gave it! Click To Tweet
I had to go through the refining fire of God.
I had to go through a period of testing and working out the doubts, the fears, the uncertainties. To face my own insecurities and my own concern with what other people thought of me! I had to deal with the naysayers who thought I wasn’t good enough (one of them being me!).
I had to deal with the comparison game and looking at other people who I felt were FAR more qualified than I was.
It was necessary to go through the inner battle between what God was telling me to do and an enemy telling me it couldn’t be done, not by me anyway. It was for others, not someone like me!
I had to finally face my fear and choose to believe what God was telling me instead of the lies the enemy told me.
I had to pray my way through trial after trial as the enemy tried time and time again to stop me with distractions and problems and stress.
It was all part of the refining fire of God.
“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
The Potter and the Clay
God takes us, as Jeremiah 18 says, as the potter takes the clay, and He puts us through the fire where we battle our doubts, our fears, the harsh words of critics, the laughter of naysayers…and we come out a beautiful work of art that He can use.God takes us, as Jeremiah 18 says, as the potter takes the clay, and He puts us through the fire where we battle our doubts, our fears, the harsh words of critics, the laughter of naysayers and we come out a beautiful work of art… Click To Tweet
You are a beautiful piece of art formed by the hands of God Himself. And like silver, you are refined in the fires of your life. Like clay you are molded in God’s hands and put through the fire to become His masterpiece.
You can do whatever God calls you to do, whether it is to lead a ministry or lead a toddler. Whether you are to teach thousands or teach those in your home.
You are a gift that God has handcrafted. So never despise the fires you go through because it is those fires that mold you and shape you. Don’t worry about YOUR capabilities but focus on HIS.
“Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:6
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