Many of my favorite childhood memories were captured across the street from where I grew up. One such memory took place on a lazy day with the smell of the sea air on the soft summer breeze. I remember watching in amazement as my friend’s dad placed the largest pot I had ever seen upon the stove. He then disappeared for a few minutes returning shortly carrying an enormous lobster by the antennas. I remember thinking of all the sci-fi programs my brother watched on TV as I stood in amazement as my friend’s dad wrestled with this gigantic monster as he placed it in the pot. It seemed to be as large as me. He lit the fire and began to explain that a lobster must never be placed in a boiling pot because it will immediately try to climb out. But if you place the lobster in a pot of cold water and turn up the heat the lobster will be unaware that the heat is rising and it will soon boil to death to make a delicious meal. Needless to say lobster was never on my menu of delicacies.
As time moved forward in my new life of dealing with a family member with dementia, I often thought of that lobster in the pot. Soon when people asked how everything was going I would describe my life as a lobster in a pot. The only difference was while a lobster was clueless to the raising heat, I was not. I knew that everything was intensifying and if something didn’t change soon I would. . . . Well, you catch my drift.
As I sought the Lord in the midst of my struggle my saving grace was the fact of God’s freewill in my life. Whereas the lobster didn’t have a choice, I could choose to allow the circumstances of my life to overwhelm me to the point of boiling or I could choose a different pot. And so can you.
God, the Master Craftsman, is the One who turns up the heat in our lives not to boil us to death, but to mold us and make us into the person He desires us to be. We are His work of art.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV) says:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while
you may have had 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.
To understand best it is interesting to learn the way that gold and silver are refined. When the craftsman desires to perfect the metal, or in other words to bring the metal to its purest form, he heats the metal to an intense temperature to reduce the gold or silver to a fluid state. He then adds a solvent such as alkali or lead. This causes the solvent to combine with the molten metal. The temperature is then raised and the solvent aids in bringing the impurities of the gold or silver to the top of the liquid. This impurity is called the dross. The craftsman, at all times, is present and watching for just the precise moment to pour off the dross. Once the dross is poured off the craftsman again heats the liquid to an intense temperature to raise more impurities within the gold or silver. This process is repeated over and over until the craftsman looks down upon the gold or silver and is able to see his own reflection in the pure molten liquid. Only when he is able to see his reflection within the molten metal does he consider the gold or silver to be in its purest form. Only then is the purification process complete. The craftsman can then use the gold or silver to transform it into his desired creation of beauty.
So too is the refining process in our lives. God is known as the Refiner[i] and out of love He desires to refine you and me. God uses the circumstances of our life as a refining process to remove all the impurities. Listen to what the Lord says, “I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities” (Isaiah 1:25 NIV).
Therefore, we can look at our lives from the standpoint of the lobster pot or the smelting pot. I choose the smelting pot. Since I know that God is using the trials to remove the dross in my life I can choose to rejoice greatly in the midst of them so that my faith may be proved genuine, and more importantly, so that my life may bring praise, glory and honor to God.
Which do you choose—the lobster pot or the smelting pot? Perspective changes everything. I am looking forward to your comments
Lord, I thank You that I can choose to greatly rejoice in the midst of my trials just as 1 Peter 1:6-7 encourages. Although my trials may seem as if they will go on for eternity, in reality it is just for a short season. I know that You allow the trials and difficulties to come, increase and intensive, not so I will reach the boiling point, but so my faith—which is of greater worth than gold—may be proved genuine which will result in praise, glory and honor to You when Your Son Jesus Christ is revealed. Thank You, Lord for helping me to change my perspective. That in itself gives me strength which I know comes from You. Amen!
Adapted from a book I am currently working on–a daily devotional for caregivers. Put in your vote. Should it be in print form?