Some of you may know that I’m a ballerina. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, dance has been a major part of my life. And, in training to be a ballerina, we learn to dance on our toes in pointe shoes. To keep our pointe shoes on, there is a specific technique to follow. We have elastic that fits over the instep, and ribbons that tie around our ankles. To fit the ribbons properly, we must cut them to size. However, once the ribbons are cut, they fray at the ends.
With use, the frayed ends of the ribbons will continually unravel until the ribbons are completely not useable. So, what do we dancers do to prevent this unfortunate circumstance from taking place? To save the ribbons, we use fire. We burn the ends of the ribbons, which toughens up the ends, and strengthens them, so they no longer fray. The ribbons can then accomplish their purpose, and endure for the duration of the life of the pointe shoes.
Now, you may be wondering what burning pointe shoe ribbons has to do with life? My point (pun intended) is simple, yet relevant. We know from the Bible that only good things come from God. However, God may allow tough times to come into our lives, to strengthen us, train us, and help us grow in Him. By facing life’s difficulties, we become stronger and more readily able to handle any curveballs life may throw our way.
If life were a complete joy ride, with no challenges to overcome, we might become unraveled or even fray, as do those pointe shoe ribbons if they don’t go through the fire. Life can be problematic. God helps us to persevere so we can learn to trust His help to overcome obstacles. Personally, I don’t know how I would get through life without God’s help. And, I don’t want to try.
Looking at this idea from a slightly different perspective, what is the element that makes gold so pure, glittering, and flawless? The answer is fire. Gold is refined by fire. Why? Because the fire burns out all of its impurities. So it is with us. When we go through arduous situations, we have the opportunity to mature from within.
However, though the “fire” of life has the ability to remove our impurities (flaws), we as humans have to decide how that fiery ordeal will conclude. The way I see it, we have two choices we can make. We can choose to learn from whatever we’re going through, draw closer to God and His love, and grow from the tough circumstance we’re facing; or we can get angry, afraid, and run from God and the situation. Choosing the latter may cause one to hide, which brings little or no resolution to the difficulties.
I know for me, I’m trying to allow God to refine me through the challenging circumstances He has allowed in my life. I’m learning from each situation, and getting stronger with every occurrence. I want to come out on the other side of each circumstance as gold.
Here’s an idea for everyone to try. What if we each changed our view about the next tough experience that comes our way? What if we took it in stride, and followed God’s lead, seeing it as a growing and learning experience that He could use to better prepare us for life? I think, for myself, this would help me perfect my survival skills, as well as my trust in God. It would also help me to draw closer to God, which is where I want to be. He is my ever present help in times of trouble. (I got that from the Bible, and I believe it!)
It makes me wonder how much brighter my outlook on life can be; how much stronger I can become as a human being; and how much closer my relationship with God can be. Why not give this some thought? I know I am!
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