Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beaten to Life

Unfeeling, unseeing, dark and dead, I lay in the bottom of a mountain, surrounded by dirt. I could not move, breath, or speak. I had no color; no shape.

How long did I languish in the dark? I do not know. I have no recollection of a beginning—only darkness.

Then one day a pinpoint of light appeared. It spread into a blinding light as a blow from behind it knocked it apart. Rock clattered and fell aside like the opening of an ancient tomb, but for me it was the exit of a womb.

A miner stood in the light, sweating, covered in dirt from his descent down into the muck. His pick was slung across his shoulders like someone carrying a cross beam.

With joy on his face, he looked right at me. "I found you." he said. With that he reached out and plucked me from the dirt.

Now the joy was mine. Air! Light! Color! Shape! Thoughts flooded me faster than I could comprehend them. It was a new world for me outside of the mountain. Was I ever really alive before?

Up in the light, the miner gently washed me. Now I had weight and form.

I had just met the miner but I loved him. I loved the one who had rescued me.

Just when I thought I could contain my joy no longer, I was taken to the furnace. The miner placed me in the bowl of a crucible and then into the fire.

An intense fire! I felt that I could not take the heat. I melted and feared that there would be nothing left of me. Yet, as I looked through the opening of the kiln, I saw the miner carefully watching me and controlling the temperature. If too hot; I would vaporize. If too cold; I would stay mixed with the lifeless and dull lead. But neither happened. He used a bellows to blow off the impurities into the fire.

The miner drew me out and I emerged as pure, liquid gold. Shiny and precious, my surface was now a mirror for the miner's smiling face.

As I cooled into a lump my faith in the miner solidified as well. No matter what fires may come I knew now that I could trust the miner's good purposes.

So when he took me and placed me on the anvil, I was ready. The hammer fell on me again, and again. Ringing out, it beat me, flattened me, shaped me. I had no idea of what the miner was making me into.

It did not matter though, I only wished to be used by the miner. I hoped I could be useful to him.

Slowly, he added jewels to the outside of my circlet. I was placed as a crown at the foot of a king. As I looked at the king I saw the same blinding light that shone on me in the depths of the mountain, and the same smiling face that found me. It was the miner as he really was—a king. As for me, I was finally home.

1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.