After Mother’s Day each year my landscaper plants vincas in my front yard. Once planted, I water the vincas daily. About a week later, I sprinkle plant food around them to boost their growth. In the past, after about two weeks, what was once a puny seedling, blossoms into a bourgeoning flower. In a matter of a month or so, the vincas, barely resemble the tiny plant I started out with.
Although I followed my usual routine this year, no growth was evident after almost a month. I attributed their stunted growth to a bad batch of plants. Nevertheless, I continued my daily watering regimen despite the lack of results.
Then one day as I headed out to work, much to my surprise, the vincas seemed to have mushroomed overnight. On the drive to work, it occurred to me what prompted the vincas’ seemingly overnight growth spurt. The first few weeks after the vincas were planted, the weather was unseasonably cool, especially at night. The cool weather stunted their growth. It wasn’t until we experienced an unprecedented heatwave that the vincas’ growth soared. Vincas are a hardy plant. They’re known for their ability to withstand heat and drought. The heatwave accelerated the vincas’ growth.
God works with His children in the same way. He knows we won’t grow in some areas until the heat is turned up. God knows how much heat to apply to facilitate our growth. It was the heat of affliction by the Egyptians that served as the catalyst for the Israelites’ growth. Exodus 1:12 says the more the Egyptians afflicted the Israelites, the more they grew.
God uses fiery situations to refine and perfect your faith. I Peter 1:7 says, “Faith is more precious than gold.” Faith is the economy of the Kingdom of God. Trials reveal genuine faith. A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted. God in His infinite wisdom builds up your faith so you can believe Him for the things He wants to bless you with. This amazes me!
“It’s God’s intent for you to be refined by the fire, not consumed by it. The account of the burning bush illustrates this concept. Although the bush was engulfed in flames, it wasn’t consumed by the fire (Exodus 3:2). The burning bush is a type of believer whereby we experience yet can withstand the heat of adversity.
You’re a fire walker by design. You were created not only to withstand the heat of adversity; you’ve been empowered to walk through the heat of your circumstances and not be destroyed. While the heat may be at its hottest in your life, God is not about to let it to consume you. Isaiah 43:2 assures your victory. The word “through” in the text means to pass beyond. You’re too precious to God for Him to allow you to succumb to the heat of your circumstances. God does His best work when things are at their hottest. Where there is no trial, there will be no growth.
Daniel 3:27 says the Hebrew boys emerged from the fiery furnace without any residue on them. God will bless you in such a way that others won’t know what you experienced until you share your testimony. You won’t look like what you’ve been through.
When I look back over my life, my greatest growth took place during some of the worst of times. It was the heat of my trials that stimulated my growth. Heat makes things pliable. God uses heat to build our faith and conform us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:2 says, “I will be with thee.” You have the promise of God’s presence in times of difficulty. You will make it through.
When you find yourself embroiled in the heat of a trial, it’s critical to avoid the tendency to seek an escape route. The heat is designed to burn off everything that hinders your growth. Trust God through the process knowing His grace will enable you to withstand trials. Grace empowers you to overcome the frustrations of your tests. It’s in the midst of the flames that God’s glory shines its brightest in you. The heat may be on, but like my vincas, you’re created to be heat resistant. When you’re rooted in Christ, the intensity of the heat is designed to promote your growth.
Growing in the heat with you!
Until next time…be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson