I love the analogy of our souls and the refiner's fire. The refiner's fire is the very hottest and most powerful of its kind. The refiner's fire is made especially hot by carefully selecting just the right fuel, concentrating the heat and flame inside an oven where it grows hotter and hotter, and then feeding those roaring flames with oxygen so that the fire will rage more ferociously than ever. It takes intense heat and pressure to refine gold of its impurities. So it is with us. Sometimes as I'm gasping for air, I think I'm not being refined, I'm being consumed by my trial. The fire is hotter than I can handle. But the Lord is truly mindful of us. He has a plan for us, and He knows how to make us who He knows we can be. We might be satisfied with staying in our rough, raw, unpolished state, but He sees our potential and He knows what we need to become great. And the end result is a marvelous thing.
I was reminded that God is not a warm glow somewhere off there in the corner of our lives. God is a consuming fire and that fire rages within us until the frail and shakable things are burned away. In the fire of God's love the most beautiful things are brought forth. So from the fires of desire there is born a stronger and deeper faith within my soul. It is from the fires and the trials of life that my faith is kindled.
It's so interesting to me to hear other people's comments and perspectives. One person in our class that I really look up to admire made the comment that when they're in the middle of trials, all they can see is their faults, and how bad they feel about themselves. I was so surprised, I never see this person having any faults or insecurities. And although I can totally relate--I feel like I have so much to work on--I forget that other people feel that way too. I don't see other's insecure feelings, because mine are blaring in my brain 24/7.
I felt like today was such a positive day. I left church wanting to be a better disciple of Christ, but in a really positive , optimistic spirit. I really feel like I can't wait to dig in and study the scriptures. I can't wait to re-read these passages of Peter tonight. And in Relief Society we read a verse from Alma 5, and I'm dying to go read the whole chapter tonight.
Like a refiner's fire, it's sometimes uncomfortable and hard to go through this life, and rid myself of all of my impurities along the way. But I know God has a plan for me, and I know if I'll listen and do what He asks, His plan is greater than anything we could imagine for ourselves.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a
peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 1:9)