In the Process of Being Fired

Anyone else feeling the pressure of our new normal?

As the walls seem to close in, I thought of a past lesson God showed me. Yes, the situation was completely different. We had been running ragged, desperately needing a break. (Can you imagine??)

But the truth was the same.

Today? Some of you are tired of twiddling your thumbs or trying to get your children to finish their online studies. Some are tired of eking out meals from pennies. Some are tired of hearing how people are tired…. And some of you are exhausted. Working 24/7 in groceries, hospitals, labs–trying to beat this thing for the rest of us.

Whatever you’re up against, I’m betting you feel the heat.

But God tells us to remember the ways He’s led us through the wilderness. So I offer this post from my archives. A lesson learned in a different time, but still true today.

Praying it encourages you as it has me.

* * *

Life’s been a bit crazy lately. And if you know my family, that’s saying something… because some people would say our life is always crazy. The past four months have been more so than usual, with some days honestly seeming almost unbearable.

But we got away from it all, enjoying three days of laughs and larks, just making great memories.

On Saturday, we took the kids to this amazing hands-on art studio in Door County, which, interestingly, is called the “Hands On Art Studio.” While the name is simple (and thankfully, easy to remember, especially for the sake of googling), the creativity there is endless! My husband and I found the place on an anniversary trip, and we couldn’t wait to let the kids try it. We planned a trip during Christmas break.

But along came some of that before-mentioned craziness, and the trip got cancelled.

Even so, thanks to a long weekend, we rescheduled, and thus found ourselves on the 2nd floor of one of the studio’s barns, painting a variety of ceramics, with everything from a tall, slender vase to a square plate, a wavy platter, a word bubble plaque, and two mugs (one a sleek modern style; the other, a molded “Grumpy.”)

I myself had two square bowls before me, looking to make a set for a platter I’d done back in July.

As I swiped paint on, aiming for interesting swooshes, some thick, some thin, layering colors, looking for just the right blends and contrasts that would add depth and complexity, I kept reminding the kids not to pay attention to the drab, pastel colors they saw in front of them.

“Just wait until it comes out of the kiln! Once it gets fired, all those colors will take on a whole new look! A whole new life!”

They probably got tired of my saying it, but hey, moms are used to repeating things over and over. It’s hard to know when to stop! “Be patient with the rough, coarse texture…Just wait ’til it goes through that heat!”

And, as always seems to be the case when I try to teach my children something–

I got the lesson.

All this “stuff” I’ve been going through lately? All these varied experiences that seem coarse and drab? It suddenly hit me. They’re just swipes of color the Lord has been carefully applying to my life and my heart.

And the struggles? The ones that make me feel like I’m walking through a fiery furnace?

Well, from what I’m reading, those ceramic bowls need the kiln to reach almost 2000 degrees before they’re finished!

But look how they turned out!

So, as we came back home to reality this week, as we very quickly felt the temperature of our lives heat up again,… I set my bright, vivid bowls on my dining room table and reminded myself,

I’m just in the process of being fired!

Just wait to see what He’s done with me when He’s finished!! To God be the Glory!

“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6, NASB)

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12 thoughts on “In the Process of Being Fired”

  1. Julie Williams

    Love the blog Elizabeth! You have crossed my mind on many occasions, but today, I was looking through a drawer and found a card from you for my baby shower for my Anna. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope all is well with you ! Email if you have a chance, would love to “ketchup”! LOL

    1. Julie
      What an amazing thing this internet is, huh? That friends from years ago can find each other again through a few clicks of a button! So happy to have connected with you again!!

  2. Shanon Jones

    This is so true! Life’s hard blasts are really God polishing the rough edges and making us beautiful in His sight. We need to remember to “count it all joy.” Thanks for sharing this, Elizabeth.

  3. I appreciate this image. Weโ€™ve probably all heard the metaphor of the weaving that looks like a mess on one side (our perspective), but is beautiful on the other side (Godโ€™s doing!). But I love this image of the pot streaked with dull-looking paint, having to go through intense heat before its colors come to life. A great reminder, and a vivid picture of Phil. 1:6. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad it spoke to you as much as it did to me. Every time I see the pots, it reminds me all over again.

  4. My parents and I were talking about that the other day during a devotional time we have through FaceTime every week ๐Ÿ™‚ it is hard to pass through the fire but it is definitely worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s so great that you can do devotionals together virtually! I love it when we can use technology for God’s glory. And it’s even neater when God touches us with the same thought so we can encourage each other in it. Thanks for telling me about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you for this, the past four months I’ve felt like a car engine, constantly revving and going nowhere. Lots of ideas for projects only to splutter and fail when it comes to actually doing it. It’s good to be reminded that this too shall pass, and, much like children, we have to learn to be patient, thank you!

    1. Oh, Clare, times like that are so hard, aren’t they? I hope you can feel Christ in the midst of it. Waiting can feel so pointless, but one day we will see the end result! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Absolutely true. He is refining us and making us new through those fires. Thank you for the imagery.

  7. It was a sweet picture to realize–one that has made that refinement so much more purposeful ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting.

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