Holiness: Through the Fire, Part II
“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 Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7
Last February, while leading a group of 45 people touring Jerusalem, I received a phone call that my newborn baby needed heart surgery. I rushed to the hospital and that was the beginning of one of the hardest experiences of my life. A few days later, I took my 2-month-old daughter to the surgery room, kissed her, and handed her over to the surgeon who would attempt to repair her constricted Aorta. She was put to sleep, and after a few hours, was rolled out from the operating room with tubes coming out of her tiny body and breathing from a respirator. We spent almost 5 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, praying that she would wake up, and afterwards, praying that her legs would move. We steadfastly prayed for her spirit and prayed for the other seriously ill children who were in the PICU as well. A few days passed and we were moved to another less pleasant department in the hospital, where the staff was less friendly, and where it was impossible to get any sleep due to the constant beeping of the monitors and the other sick children crying through the night. After a week of no sleep and seeing our daughter suffer like that, needless to say, I was stressed, exhausted, and down right broken.
I will never forget the moment that God spoke to me in the midst of this difficult time. It was after Noia was taken off pain medication and given only Tylenol to manage the pain. I was holding her and she was crying from pain; I prayed and it seemed like the pain was getting worse. I prayed more but nothing helped. At a certain point, I started to sing worship songs, and she finally fell asleep. However, every time I sat down to try to get some sleep myself, she would wake up. I ended up standing for a few hours that night, holding and rocking her.
My body was hurting, and I was both physically and emotionally exhausted, as well as spiritually drained. At that point, for the first time since it all started, I asked God “Why?” Immediately, I saw a picture of a bathtub filled with filthy water. Then I saw the Lord removing the plug and draining the dirty water. He then put the plug back in and replenished the tub with fresh, clean water. It was at that point that I felt a deep unmistakable peace and I understood what God was doing in my life through this trial.
God allowed me to go through the fire. In that terribly difficult time, He was refining me so that I would reflect more of His image, and that more of the things of this world would be removed from my life. He was, in fact, making me to become more holy, like Him.
I encourage you to continue to trust God in the midst of fire – follow Him and be faithful to Him. He will lead you and guide you into the Promised Land!
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