What is the purpose of this, Lord?
There’s a purpose in the furnace flame.
This one line held my attention and swam around in my head for a while as I pondered it. There’s a purpose in the furnace flame. As I thought of it, I found myself asking God what the purpose was for the furnace I was currently in. And I asked this because as I write this post, my back has gone out on me and I’m struggling to move and walk properly. My heart is heavy for people around me and the furnace they’re in. And all that has left my soul feeling a little rumpled.
What is the purpose to this furnace, Lord?
At some point, we all stand in the furnace. Sometimes the flames barely touch us but at other times, it feels as if our body is on fire from the ferocity of the flames (figuratively speaking.)
I continued to ponder this thought as I spoke to a friend of mine about all that was happening. After I shared with her, she prayed for me and as she prayed, she asked God to use the pain (both the physical back pain and the heart ache). And that beautiful prayer made me realise that while I was trying to understand what the lesson or purpose was for ME, God may have been using this pain for others.
Would you use these furnace flames for your glory, Lord?
In our pain and heartache, our first response (okay, my first response) is usually very insular and self directed; I assume that it is all about me but in reality, God may be using my situation for someone else. Did God cause my pain? No, I don’t believe that He did. Can God use my pain? Absolutely, yes. The bible says this :
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
And so it is. God is working all things for good. Every furnace we stand in, God is standing in with us and is working things out for the good of those who love Him. When we invite Him into the furnace; when we allow Him to walk with us and we give Him our ache and our pain and our trial, He will make something out of it. He will work it for good. Maybe it’ll be for us, or maybe it’ll be for others. Regardless, God will use it and He will get the glory, and that should be our prayer. Not ‘what is the purpose, Lord?’, but ‘use it for your glory, Lord.’
And maybe when we invite Him in and determine to make it about Him, the furnace will become part of His glorious story.