Harry S Truman is quoted as saying;
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen
It’s a phrase that has been used by many over the years. For some people it’s used as a put down, “if you cannot cope with the pressure you are a wimp” for others it’s used as a sort of “man up” type of phrase. The implication of the quote is “if you cannot cope with the pressure, you should leave it to someone who can.”
I have to be honest with you. It is not a phrase I like.
Its implication is, if you are not coping under the stress you are living with you are, somehow, weak. That isn’t always the case. There are times in all of our lives when we are under stress and pressure and we wonder how we are going to get through it.
There are also times when “the heat” is something we cannot bear by ourselves, and we need the help, support and encouragement that others bring. One of the great values of belonging to a Christian Family (we call it “Church”) is that, I have friends around who support and encourage me.
I was thinking about “the heat” this morning as I was spending some time with the Bible and praying. I shared with God some of “the heat” that I am facing at the moment. But, as I prayed, I felt that God was encouraging me to look at “the heat” in a different way. Heat is not always negative.
I am British and was, therefore, born with a right to complain about the weather. There are times when I do not cope with the heat. I moan about the heat in the summer (do you remember that day too?) and the cold in winter. I began to wonder if I spend too long asking God to remove the heat and not enough time looking at what God is doing in the heat.
Let me explain…
I read a verse in the Book of Proverbs that says;
Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel
(Proverbs 11 vs. 25)
I was faced with the question, “how do you remove dross from silver?” So, I did what I always did with difficult questions, I Googled it! (other search engines are available). What I found out is, the most effective way to remove the dross is to heat up the silver and the dross can then be skimmed off the surface.
It’s the application of the heat that allows the dross to be separated. Sometimes, the heat in our lives can be used by God to separate us from the dross that has built up in us.
Why not take the opportunity to have a think about the dross that has built up in your life? Is a little heat being applied to you at the moment so that God can deal with it?