I have mentioned my Pop a few times, or a lot, he was a smart guy. At times, I forgot that. He wasn’t highly educated, but education and intelligence are not the same. So many educated people aren’t very smart. They know a lot, but don’t have the ability to think and see things well at times. Now, sometimes that is me too, educated, but not smart, other times, thanks to people like Pop, my grandmother, my parents, aunts, uncles and such, I am, at least in my own mind, pretty smart. They passed on to me a lot of wisdom and intelligence. But, despite not being educated, Pop was extremely intelligent. He could see things in his mind, some contraption or something that would be useful. He would do what some call upcycling, taking junk and building something useful out of it. That last part is something I will need to use for another lesson to myself, another day but, yet again, I digress. Back to the marbles.
Well, my grandparents had a small farmette one would call it these days, with a few outbuildings, sheds, shop, and the like. Well, one day I got there and where one had been the day before was a smoldering pile of debris. He was looking outside, looking at it. Apparently it had caught fire during the night for whatever reason; perhaps a short in the wiring, maybe some old gasoline soaked rags spontaneously burst into flame, a spark from the woodstove, hard to say. But, burn it did. The remnants, were as I said, smoldering, but most of the things had cooled. He used a rake to poke around at the ashes and debris, seeing if there was anything he could salvage. He dragged out a gob of stuff. Gob is the best word to describe it, whatever it was it was covered in soot and ash, unrecognizable to me. He said “well, that might be kinda nice, we will see when it is cooled off a little more.” He finished for the time, then we went off to do other things. Later that day we went back to the gob. He tested it to see if it was hot, no, it had cooled enough to handle and then, took it to the water trough and washed it off a little. Still looked like a black mess to me. Then, to the shop, grabbed a hammer, and kind of tapped on it a bit. Bits of the outer covering came off. After some of this, he showed it to me. Now, I couldn’t tell what it had been, but it was big piece of multicolored glass about the size of a quart jar and had some lumps and bumps in it. But, still, it was pretty. He showed it to me and asked what I thought. I said it was neat. He asked if I knew what it was as he held it up and let the sun shine through it. Now, the sunlight coming through gave it an even more interesting appearance and as the sunlight refracted through the mass it cast beams of light in every direction. I was fascinated. He asked if I knew what it was and of course, I had no clue. He said, “remember your jar of marbles? This is them. The fire melted them together, made something beautiful out of them.” And, it was very beautiful. I wish I still had it, but it was lost over the years and probably long destroyed or in the landfill someplace.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:7
Now, this is where the real smarts came in. I was impressed at the time he knew what it was, how to get the outer shell of glass off and show the real beauty of the object. But, that wasn’t really smart lesson for me. The lesson, like so many of my youth, that was lost to me at the time. He started talking about how sometimes God uses fire to change us, to make us something more beautiful, to make us different for him. Sometimes he uses fire to make things stronger or to test things because if they can stand the fires of life, they are strong.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God. Zechariah 13:9
Well, being young, I just thought, ok, but lemme have my marbles, I am gonna go show everyone. And, off I go. Here, many years later, after dealing with other fires, the firestorms of life that all have at times. Reflecting on life lessons, scriptures that relate to them and what I can, and should have learned, long ago. Yes, sometimes I am tested. I need testing, daily. I need refined. I need to be put into His furnace to burn away the impurities. And, at this time, Yes, I am forgiven, but I sure have a lot of work that needs done.
Lord, I praise you and thank you for all the grace and mercy. I thank you for those who taught me lessons that I did not understand at the time, they stayed with me and in your wisdom, you show me and give me understanding when I am ready for it. I thank you for your salvation and forgiveness. Jesus, I pray that you will continue to work on me, purify me with the fire of your Holy Spirit. I pray that you work in the lives of loved ones that you purify them as well. Show them your way to the truth, the light, to you Jesus.
Thanks to those who are able to bear with me through these writings. I hope that you all have all the blessings Christ has planned for you.