Heed the Heat

It’s not often that thermometers in Chicago report triple digit temperatures, and when they do so for three days in a row we feel the heat.

Pavement is buckling (thirty roads and counting), vegetation is wilting, and air conditioners are working overtime. We all must guard against dehydration and heat exhaustion, and those with heart or respiratory conditions are at extra risk.

Intense heat has a way of exposing our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

A shallow rooted tree may look healthy enough, but it will fail under conditions of drought and heat.  I may be able to run a mile or two with only minor discomfort on a cool morning, but I am not prepared to run under full sun in triple digit temps, and believe me, I won’t be attempting such craziness!

Similarly, relationships, families, organizations, and entire cultures may be reasonably functional under comfortable conditions, but what happens when things get toasty?

Image courtesy of National Weather Service

I’ve observed individuals, families and communities demonstrate great tenacity, generosity, unity and joy under devastating fires of adversity.  On the other hand, economic heat in our country and in Europe has uncovered the greed, corruption, entitlement, and selfishness that are rotting the support structures of our societies.

God uses the heat of difficult circumstances - metaphorically called the refiner’s fire, the process of removing impurities from precious metal – for proving the faith and strengthening the hearts of believers.  It is uncomfortable, and frankly I don’t like it when God turns up the heat in my life, but I know that his purposes are redemptive.

By the grace of God, Jesus Christ saves us from the fire of the righteous judgment of a Holy God.   God does not hesitate to apply a little circumstantial heat to draw us closer to Jesus, our Savior.

“…now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1 Peter 1:6-7

How do you handle the heat, metaphorical or physical?  Have you ever experienced God’s refining fire?

For posts on related topics, check out Pressure on Purpose and What is the Remedy for Corruption

About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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9 Responses to Heed the Heat

  1. margaretnyman says:

    Loved this blog post, Judy… Keep up the good work!

  2. branchl77 says:

    I love it when we are listening, hearing and just being open to the voice of God through His creation. It means our relation is alive and growing.

    Dictionary dot com defines it this way:
    lis·ten   /ˈlɪsən/ Show Spelled[lis-uhn] Show IPA
    verb (used without object)
    1. to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
    2. to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to ): Children don’t always listen to their parents.
    3. to wait attentively for a sound (usually followed by for ): to listen for sounds of their return.
    4. Informal . to convey a particular impression to the hearer; sound: The new recording doesn’t listen as well as the old one.

    Thanks for listening sis.

  3. Thomas Smith says:

    Great post. That’s great that your from Chicago too! God Bless!

  4. Caddo Veil says:

    I openly confess–and not proudly–that I fail miserably in the metaphorical heat. Though, I suspect God is not nearly as hard on me as I am on myself–being full of Mercy and Grace and Unfailing Love, as He is. And I’m not partial to hot weather, either–I’ve got all the fans cranked to high, until it cools down this evening. God bless you abundantly today–love, Caddo

    • Judy says:

      My husband teases me about my very narrow comfort zone:). Too hot…too cold…I want it juuuust right. Like you, I depend on the grace of God. Enjoy those fans:). Bless you, Caddo!

  5. Larry Who says:

    I live in Temecula, which is high desert. So, we’ll soon have a bunch of 100 degree days. What do I do? Turn up the AC and be glad it’s warm, not cold.

    I went to a seminar and heard Jill Austin say, “Have you learned God is dangerous yet?” She went on to speak about the refining fires of God. Carol and I laughed because we were going through H-e-double-hockey-pucks at the time. Little did we know, that what we had experienced was only the beginning. So, how long have the refining fires lasted for us? A little over sixteen years and still counting. What do you do? Die daily and praise Him no matter what. Plus, a sense of humor helps.

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