LKP Treasure Trove 003: Furnace of the Heart

Welcome to another edition of the LKP Treasure Trove

Sometimes life can feel like a series of tests and trials. And while those tests seem difficult at first, and even bothersome, we often grow a little as we come out of them. Sometimes it gives us more patience or understanding, or it helps to strengthen our faith and trust in Yah. Those tests and trials are like a fire from Yah, but let’s see what the three Hebrews in today’s story have to say on this subject.

Furnace of the Heart

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High atop Mount Mitchell, nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountain chain that stretched through North Carolina, three Hebrews were enjoying an early autumn camping trip. Uncle Bill was stoking the fire with a charred branch while his two nieces, Sondra and Yvonne, were fascinated as they gazed at the bright flames. When he noticed the look on their faces he said, “Interesting thing about fire is that it both destroys and renews.”

“What do you mean, Uncle Bill?” asked Sondra, the younger of the two, as she fiddled with the gold bracelet on her wrist.

Uncle Bill set his branch aside and held his hands out toward the flames for some needed warmth. “Well, fires burn things to a crisp. They destroy buildings and homes and even melt steel. But for thousands of years, many trees have depended on natural fires in the wild to clear out the competition so they can release new seeds without being crowded out.” Uncle Bill couldn’t help but notice Sondra’s hand. “Also, that gold bracelet you’re rubbing . . . how do you think that took its shape and got so shiny and clean? You think it comes out the side of a mountain that way?”

Sondra shook her head so vigorously her braids whipped around. “No. It takes a lot of work.”

Yvonne added: “It has to be refined by being melted in a furnace and shaped in molds. We read that in one of our homeschooling books.”

Uncle Bill smiled. “That’s right, Yvonne. That’s an important part of the process, though it’s more complicated than even I can explain. But do you know that you two are gold as well?”

Now it was Yvonne who had a question. “How so, Uncle Bill?”

“Ah, it’s good that you asked,” Uncle Bill said as he wagged a finger in the air. “There’s a Scripture verse I have memorized. Proverbs 17 verse 3. It says, ‘The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but Yah tests hearts.’ ”

Yvonne’s face brightened with understanding. “I get it, Uncle Bill. In other words, the troubles and trials we go through in this life are like the fires that purify gold. So those tests help to purify us.”

Uncle Bill smiled again. “Exactly, Yvonne. Now, how about we purify some marshmallows in this fire as a treat before we get some sleep?”

NOW, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you find you’re constantly being tested in life? Well, the trials we experience are part of an important process Yah uses to purify us. When speaking to the people of Judahthrough the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 1:25, Yah said, “I will turn My hand against you and will burn away your dross completely; I will remove all your impurities.” Yah is still in the business of removing our dross and impurities today, partly through tests and trials. So try to remember that the next time you’re being tested.

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