What do you think of when you see the word crucible? Most everyone will remember what crucibles are and what they are used for from school chemistry.
Dictionary description: It is a noun. Pronounced like kro͞osəb(ə)l. Made of ceramic or metal and used for melting other substances in very high temperatures. Deﬁnition : • a place or occasion of severe test or trial: the crucible of combat.
With that deﬁnition in mind, please read and ponder this quotation from Pastor, and world-class singer, Wintley Phipps: “It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given.”
I was greatly impressed by this quote when I saw Brother Phipps share it with the Gaither singers. And it seemed to grow in meaning when I had to endure some severe medical challenges recently. I continue reciting it and meditating over it now. It reminds me to realize that it is vital that I maintain my relationship with Jesus. Like, it is a matter of life and death.
The quotation resonates with me because of two different thoughts. The word sufferings and the phrase God’s greatest gifts are given.
Sufferings. I suffered a lot of physical pain and mental anxiety. Three times I had to call 911 and was taken to the ER. Each visit was due to three different symptoms. As I dealt with each diagnosis my mind struggled to stay focused on my Divine Connection with my Creator and Source of healing.
What does the Bible say about suffering? Romans 5:3-4 “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (NRSV). Couple that with James 1:3-4 which says, “because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”
God’s Gifts. After reading the Word, do you see the tie-in? Sufferings are actually blessings. Free gifts from God to keep us strong in Him.
Get the picture. Grab your crucible (What you don’t have a crucible? Ok. Just pretend.) Add sufferings. Now, in your quiet time with God, ask Him to put a ﬁre under your crucible full of sufferings. Next, just sit back, remain quiet and wait on the Lord. When it is time, you’ll know it. Rouse yourself and see what God has done for you.
Space does not allow me to share some of what God did for me. But please believe me; He answered prayers. Even when I felt He didn’t, He brought me to new understandings and attitude changes. I actually look back on those many weeks and say, “Thank you, Lord.”