Forged by Fire

 I wear a wedding ring, like most married men do. Something is different about mine though. It was actually my Sr Ring from high school. See this Sr Ring was 24K gold and was just beautiful. It had a jasper stone in the middle, and on the side of it was a cross with a sun shinning behind it saying, “New Beginning”.  It was a very nice ring, BUT I graduated. After graduation, would I ever wear it again? What would I do with it? Well, when my wife and I decided to get married there was only one option, to melt it down, have it reshaped and formed to no longer symbolize my graduation and school, but a new life with my wife. A journey that will last “Till death do we part.”
Yes, that which was mine, this ring I chose and designed with all the details, now would be refashioned to be mine again anew; to serve a bigger Role in my life. A new design to represent a new meaning.
Isn’t that like our lives?  We start off as this creation, fashioned by the world around us, Parents, Teachers, Friends, Family and Movies. We bare the image of those who have influenced us, wither good or bad. But now, the Master Craftsman of All Creation chooses us. He calls us His own. Not only calling us, He purchased us; Bought us with the Blood of His own Son.  (Gal 3:13) . The Master has purchased the gold. Yet, That is not enough though. Now the one who purchased us, wants to recreate us into His own creation, to shape and form into that which will show forth His Glory, His Craftsmanship; so that we can bare the Image of Eternity now. A New Beginning, not the shape of the world around us.  
“For if any person be in Christ he is a New Creation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
 “We are his Workmanship, Masterpiece, created for good works.” Ephesians 2:10
“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:7
    Here in lies the problem… How does that which already has a shape, become something new?
How do we who bare the form and fashion of the world around us, our environment, now bare the image and fashion of that which is Holy?  We turn to the metalworker. “The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer, the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good..” Isaiah 41:7

   We have to be reformed. The metal worker puts the gold into the furnace to melt it. It is under great heat that the purest metal comes out. It is from this purification that comes the purest gold. Once it is purified it is by no means finished. Now Master Craftsman forges it in to the shape of his delight. He hammers it, beats it into shape. He cuts out the extras, removing all that is not of necessity. “For God is at work both to Will and to Work for his Pleasure.”
   In our lives this comes out as our pain. Our Struggle. This is us, dying to ourselves and allowing the Master to Create something New. “We are a New Creation.”  This is a New Beginning.  “We are His Workmanship” .. “Whom I formed and Made”
The whole process of making a Masterpiece, a New Creation, takes focus, dedication, and purpose. For the master doesn’t not just throw the gold into the fire and hope the creation will walk out as he imagined. No, He has to work the gold. Mold it. Forge it. He has to watch over it. He has to engrave his likeness on it.  He inspects it. And if it is not up to his standards does he just throw it away, cast it aside?  No, He just reshapes and works out the imperfections for “He who began the good work will Perfect it.” Philippians 1:6
    When the ring is finished, we love the sparkle of the diamond, the light reflecting off of the cuts and angles, but it’s the cutting away from our lives that hurt. We love color of gold, but we despise the fires that purify it. We want the beauty, but we don’t want the shaping or forging, it’s too uncomfortable.

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