2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Several years ago, my mom brought home an old chest that had survived a fire. Covered in soot and charred, it looked pretty useless and ugly. At the time, I was learning to refinish furniture and she told me I could have the chest if I wanted to work on it. As I cleaned it and peeled away the black layers of dirt, soot and fire damage, I discovered an attractive cedar wood with copper strapping. The more I stripped off the more beauty the piece revealed. When I finished applying the clear satin finish, the piece shone like new. It now sits in my daughter’s home.
Often we face fires and get burned in life. We all encounter difficult situations, times that are tough, illness, loss of loved ones and on it goes. God wants us to go through these fires, not hide from them. If we invite him, he will walk with us through the flames; then we will not be destroyed, instead, we will emerge stronger.