In the bible, there is a story about a married couple named Sarai and Abram:
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. (Genesis 16:1-4 NIV).
What you don’t see in Genesis chapter 16 is that after Sarai decided to give Abram her slave Hagar to bare a child for him, later, when Abram is ninety nine years old God appears to him and tells him that he will bless Sarai and let her bare Abram a son (Genesis 17:15-17 NIV). Sure enough, God blesses Sarai (who became Sarah) and Abram (who became Abraham) with a son by the name of Isaac (Genesis 17:15-17 NIV).
This past week I began reading Desperate for Jesus : Overcoming Obstacles to Find True Life by Pastor John F. Hannah (I encourage everyone to go purchase this book, the intro alone blessed my life so much). In the intro there is this one part where Pastor Hannah talks about a refinement process that God takes us through in order to bring us closer to him. Reading about the process blessed me tremendously and helped bring about clarification as to why waiting is so important. I want to share what I read with you in hopes of blessing you as well.
Stage 1: The craftsman breaks up the hardened rock filled with common minerals and possibly precious metals like gold and silver.
Stage 2: The craftsman puts the broken-up ore into a melting pot (called a crucible) that’s able to withstand extreme heat temperature, sometimes in excess of one thousand degrees Celsius, and then places the crucible into the furnace at the specific temperature necessary for removing other metals that mar the quality of the gold or silver.
Stage 3: The impurities are then removed. As the craftsman carefully watches the ore melt, he stirs the pot and skims off the layer of impurities called “dross” that rises to the top of the molten metal. Scripture talks about dross: “Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel” (Prov. 25:4).
Stage 4: The craftsman turns up the heat and places the crucible back into the furnace, often up to as many as seven times. As the process is repeated, impurities are continually released to the surface.
Stage 5: The purification process continues as the dross is removed, gradually revealing precious silver. The craftsman gauges the progress by looking for his reflection on the surface of the silver-filled crucible. The more dross that’s removed, the less distorted his reflection will be.
Stage 6: When the craftsman looks into the crucible and see a clear reflection, the refining process is complete. The degree of purity is at it’s highest point.
Please take a moment to think about this refinement process. Now imagine this process happening while you wait for God to fulfill his promises to you. This process seems more like a season of preparation to ensure that you are sustainable before God fulfills his promises to you.
As we navigate through the month of September and you find yourself waiting, I want you to recall the refinement process broken down above during your wait and use your waiting period as a medium to truly strengthen your relationship with God. There are many ways to do this but the best ways are: 1) Seeking God through constant prayer, 2) Reading and carefully listening to God's word in the bible.
We love you. Thank you for being such a great God. We magnify your name and give you glory. You are a wonderful God. There is no one and nothing in this world higher or more powerful than you. You are almighty; there is nothing that we may ask that you cannot grant us with. We come to you asking that you govern our mind and heart aligning them with the desires that you desire for us to have. Give us the patience that we need to wait on you in every situation and for every circumstance that may arise. We decree and declare that from this day forward, we will utilize our waiting period as a vehicle to get to you and bask in your presence so that you may purify and equip us for our blessings to come. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.