“Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory.
And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.
And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.” (Romans 5:2-5 The Voice)
One of my photo editing programs has a “kaleidoscope” feature. A photo processed through this app seldom resembles the original, but it’s fun to play with. I tried processing a photo I took of rubble from a building leveled by fire. The result caught my attention because I could see what looked like areas of engraved gold and silver set in a polished stone tile. That would be a luxury on the floor of any palace.
How precious are the foundations laid for us by saints of the past whose lives were refined by the fires of tribulation. It’s a lot easier to appreciate the refining process in the after picture than in the middle-of-the-disaster picture. It’s easier to sing, “Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy,” than it is to recognize a refining process, let alone cooperate with it. Yet suffering leads to endurance and to character. The ability to hope and anticipate God’s goodness lays a precious foundation for the next generation – especially in the middle of what looks like a disastrous mess.
Creative Meditations for Lent, Word prompt: Refine