By Anne Graham Lotz
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7
What fuel has the Refiner added to the fire as He works to reveal Jesus in and through you? He has recently stoked the fire under me! I’m encouraged when I remember that when a refiner purifies gold, he melts it in a pot over the fire. He keeps turning up the heat until the dross, or impurities, rise to the surface. He then bends over the gold to skim off the dross, and continues doing so, until he can see his face reflected in the surface of the gold.
Gold being refined in the fire is a meaningful visual of the way God refines and purifies you and me. He knows exactly how hot the fire needs to be in order to bring the impurities in our hearts, minds, and lives to the surface of our attention, enabling Him to skim them off, until He can see His own image reflected in us.
The Refiner has just added fuel to the fire in my life. On the afternoon of August 17, 2015, between 3:00 and 3:30, as you may know, I discovered my husband, Danny, unresponsive in our pool. Two days later he was Home! Three years to the day, on the afternoon of August 17, 2018, at the very same time of day…3:00 to 3:30…I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I realized the strange “coincidence” of the timing, I came to the chilling conclusion that it was an assignment from the enemy. But just as that thought was forming, I heard the soft, gentle whisper of the Spirit, reminding me that it was on a Friday, during that very same time…between 3:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon…that God’s Passover Lamb was sacrificed. Jesus died on the very same day of the week, at the very same time of the day, crushing the head of the serpent, forever defeating the devil and death. Praise God! The cross…the blood of God’s Lamb…trumps anything the devil can throw at us or assign to us!
So I am left to worship and totally trust our God who is ultimately in control. Of everything.
Each day since the diagnosis God has given me promises and encouragement from His Word. God has been…and is…my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in this trouble. Therefore, I will not fear… BUT He also has made it very clear that my healing will be in answer to not just my prayer, but the prayers of others for me.
So please! Would you pray for me? Pray for God to heal me in whichever way He deems would bring Him the most glory. Healing without surgery, with surgery, with surgery and follow-up treatment, or through the greater miracle of the resurrection. Amy Carmichael’s eloquent and moving prayer below has given me words to express my heart’s desire…
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings;
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God
Please pray for me…and my family… as we follow the Good Shepherd through this Valley of the Shadow. The bottom-line of our prayer is that our faith would be purified, God would be glorified, and Jesus would be magnified through every step we take on this new journey, until the Refiner sees His own reflection mirrored in my life.
Anne Graham Lotz is an author and daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham. This editorial first appeared on her website. Please keep Lotz in your prayers as she battles cancer.