Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Out of the Scrap Heap

And we desire each one of you to show
the same earnestness to have the full
assurance of hope until the end, so that
you may not be sluggish, but imitators of
those who through faith and patience
inherit the promises.
                     Hebrews 6:11-12 (NASV)

      I recently read the following story from the Streams in the Desert devotional book.

        An old village blacksmith once said, “There is only one thing
        I fear: being thrown onto the scrap heap. You see, in order to
        strengthen a piece of steel, I must first temper it. I heat it,
        hammer it, and then quickly plunge it into a bucket of cold
        water. Very soon I know whether it will accept the tempering
        process or simply fall to pieces. If, after one or two tests, I
        see it will not allow itself to be tempered, I throw it onto the
        scrap heap, only to later sell it to the junkman for a few cents
        per pound.”

     I thought about the “fires” of the faithful who are listed in Hebrews 11. Noah, moved with fear, obeyed God. Abraham, lacking knowledge of his destination, followed God. Sarah, who judged God faithful to His promise, received strength from God. By faith the patriarchs, of whom we read in the Old Testament, blessed their children to the care of God. By faith Moses, placed in a basket, was saved by God. By faith Rahab gave refuge to the Hebrew spies and received her reward from God…

     These and many more faithful became “hall of famers” because of their willingness to walk through the fire, be hammered and tempered, and saved from the scrap heap. Their victorious faith changed the world for millennia—forever. As far as I can tell, they did not wake up one morning and announce to their world that they would be world changers. They simply went about their daily lives, duties, relationships and interactions with others and displayed their faith along the way.
     Although both our culture and times differ from those listed in Hebrews 11, our attitudes and actions should remain like theirs:
        When faced with fear, obey God
        When our destination is unclear, follow God
        When we are weak, receive strength from God
        To care for our descendants, bless our children in the Name of God
        When others come to us for help, teach them to hide themselves in God 

     When we allow God to turn us into tempered metal, we are made usable for Him. Then we, like Job, will be able to say, “…When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Out of the scrap heap and into the highways of life walking in victorious faith...  


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