Lately I have been watching the show Forged in Fire. It is an older show, but it only recently came out on the streaming service I use. In this show, four contestants attempt to forge blades and weapons in a short amount of time to determine who is that episode’s Forged in Fire champion. In each episode, contestants are given different challenges. Sometimes they have to use a specific forging technique. Sometimes they are challenged to recycle other materials. For someone who knows zero about the art of bladesmithing, I find it all facinating.
In order to make a useful blade, the metal must be welded together, pressed, hammered, bent, folded, ground down, stretched out, and worked into shape. All the while, the metal must be heated to point that this otherwise solid material is made malleable and plastic. In the show, you get to watch as these malformed chunks of metal get transformed into works of art.
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.1 Peter 1:3-9 English Standard Version
Just as the metal goes through heat and pressure to become a blade, so are we shaped and formed by our experiences both good and bad to become the men and women God has called us to be. That is not to say that God makes us suffer. No, we live in a world of injustice and rebellion against God. Suffering exists, trials exist, but God can and does use these to shape us and make us stronger.
However, the metal in forger’s hands has no choice. You do. You get to choose whether or not you will let God shape you. Choosing to ignore Him won’t quench the flames though, you will just waste the opportunity to grow.
What trials are you going through right now?
How is God using this time to forge you?