“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” 48:10
The last 12 months have been a little rough for my family. Not the worst year we’ve ever had, but it was definitely one I would file under “refining”. It was long and hard and I cried a lot (don’t move away from your mom when you’re pregnant; too many hormones), but I am so incredibly thankful for the fruit that came from it.
I know and love God more because of it. I’m closer to my husband. I’m a better mom now than I was a year ago. I’m more empathic. I’m more comfortable with loneliness. I learned more about the Bible. I’m more grateful than I have been in the past.
In hindsight, the furnace of (mild) suffering blessed me.
Maybe you are in the midst of severe suffering. Maybe you’re just moderately uncomfortable. Wherever you are on that spectrum, lean into it. God can, and I’m confident he will, use this hard season to refine your character. To draw you closer and bring you to a new place in your relationship with him.
Resist the urge to be like Babylon was, described in the text as a pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure. Short-sighted. Acting invincible!
Stop and consider a time God allowed you to be refined through a season of suffering. Whether it was a consequence of sinful behavior or just a hard season of life, how did you respond?