Being Forged And Shaped

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

~1 John 1:9

My wife and I have been watching a show in History Channel since 2015 called "Forged In Fire."  It's a blacksmithing competition.  They start with four bladesmiths each week, and through three rounds of competition where one is eliminated each round, one rises as "The Forged In Fire Champion" at the end of the show.  And the judges always have a twist.  Sometimes they're making blades out of metal from an old car, or sometimes rusty old bolts, or garden tools, etc.  Or sometimes they're making a specific kind of knife, or utilizing a particular forging technique.

But forging is an art, and one of the skills necessary to be a good bladesmith is knowing how to correct an error or a flaw when one appears.  If a crack forms.  Or a flaw in the metal becomes known.  How do you go about fixing that potential weakness before it ruins the final product?

Sometimes it's a matter of heating the metal up to forging temperature, cleaning off all the black scale that forms in the forge with a wire brush, and then folding it over and reforging it into a stronger billet of metal.  But there's many ways a bladesmith uses to fix flaws in the metal as he (or she) is working it.  It takes tremendous effort with a hammer and a press and the various tools the blacksmiths uses to make a strong piece of metal that can be formed into the desired shape, and then honed into a beautiful and useful knife. Failure to address the flaws in the metal often lead to failures when those knives are tested.  Sometimes they bend, or even break!

And looks can be deceiving.  Sometimes what appears to be a solid piece of metal develops issues that have to be fixed.  Sometimes a mess that looks like it should be thrown into the garbage is forged into an amazing blade that takes the bladesmith into the final round of competition.  It's difficult to see what the bladesmith sees, because the bladesmith sees the potential.

Our faith is the same way.  Sometimes we only see the flaws, and we don't think there's a way to fix them.  We believe because of some small flaw in our past we're beyond being made into something useful for God's purposes.  We fail to appreciate that we may not be able to fix those flaws--but God can.  If we'll ask.  God will never give up on making us what He intended for us to be.  In God's eyes, we're never beyond being saved, being made stronger, being refined and improved until we become what the maker has seen in us all along.

It's important for us to be able to recognize the flaws, but trust in God to help us fix them.  

~Todd E. Creason