17 Aug Faith Refined in the Fire
When the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, first announced that we would be going into national lockdown, I was sitting with my husband and mother-in-law in her lounge, with my mouth hanging wide open. Until that moment, I had been living in my own bubble, with an almost naive attitude towards the global pandemic, because up until that moment, I had no reason to really think, or care about it; life went on as normal, for me.
But since that night and the president’s first address, nothing has been certain and everything has changed.
Most immediately, I was prevented from earning an income. I work at schools as a service provider and was prevented from accessing my clients. My income dropped by 95%. I had never realised just how important that was to me, and how much security I drew from having a regular income that I could count on to provide for my needs. I was angry and confused, but most of all, afraid. I did not want to pray as I felt it was God who was taking away all the ‘good things’ from my life!
God began to show me that I was afraid for the wrong reasons. He was my Provider, not money. He was my Security and my Rock, not my job. He asked me to hand over my fear to Him, as He says clearly in John:
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
Since then, I cannot count the number of times I have heard the comforting words of Isaiah 43 quoted to me:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by you name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. – Isaiah 43:1b-2
God has indeed been with me and my family. Although all physical security and certainty has been stripped away, He has provided for our needs. And He has produced a fruit in our hearts better than anything money can buy: a deeper trust in Him. He used the pandemic to reveal idols in my heart, giving me an opportunity to lay these idols aside so that I could truly trust Him with all my heart. You see, sisters in Christ, as we are passing through the trial that is the coronavirus pandemic, God is asking us to turn to Him and allow Him to refine our faith, which is of more worth than gold. The fire that will not burn us is the fire that will refine us:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuiness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour and glory at the revelation of Jesus. – 1 Peter 1:6-7
Will you choose to trust Him?
Kate is a blogger who believes that books enrich our journey with Jesus. She loves Jesus, loves to read, and currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband.