This post is based around some pics I took back in October at a pumpkin fest. It was a blacksmith exhibit and he was making something (I can't remember now!) The one thing that caught my attention was how the blacksmith had to put the iron into the fire for it to get hot enough to bend. He couldn't work with it unless it was very hot. The picture above is him placing the piece of iron in the fire. He had to leave it there until the time came when it was ready to begin being shaped.
Finally, it was ready to begin shaping it. So he began to hammering the piece of iron into a shape. He hammered and hammered and hammered.
He kept turning it and beating it trying to get the shape he desired.
As I watched the blacksmith beat the piece of iron out, I was reminded that God has to do that with our lives too. I once heard a pastor say, "All sunshine makes a desert." What he was saying was that if everything was always great in our lives all the time, nothing would grow. For flowers, trees, and grass to grow there has to be rain. Nothing grows when its only sunshine.
Same here with this piece of iron. God doesn't want for us to stay the same. We have to have a time of shaping so we can begin looking more like Christ. We can't become more like Christ if everything is good all the time- if there's no fire. It's through the waiting, bending and hammering that Christ makes us into something that can be useful to him, to others.
What is God using in your life right to shape you into becoming more like Him?