Shaped by the Potter, Tried in the Fire, To Go Forth and Bear Fruit.
We are like clay in the hands of the Potter. Recalling that God has a purpose for each our lives it takes shaping, molding and being tried in the Fire so that we might be used by God to go forth and to bear good fruit that will last.
If we take a moment to reflect on our lives, we will find that the trials and tribulations have made us stronger and greater today. That is if we allowed them too and used them for our benefit, they have made us greater person. Not being victims but victors shaped by the Potter and tried in the Fire. It is when a hardship comes our way that we can turn and thank God for it. To count all things as joy, all that befalls us as blessings, in the words of Rudyard Kipling: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster treat those two impostors just the same.”
To see all as working out for our good. More and more when trial and hardship come I find myself thanking the Lord knowing that what I’m facing is shaping me to bear greater fruit in my life for the future. This week something came at me, but with calm and conviction allowed it and then immediately thanked God for it, knowing that God would use it to shape my life to be used by Him.
Jesus is teaching us that our life’s ultimate purpose is to bear good fruit for God and bearing witness to the Kingdom of God. Too often we judge, we condemn, and we seek to call out the faults of others, failing to realize our own lives and very core of ourselves needs transformation and purifying. But when we are so busy tearing down someone else, we are completely blinded by our own ego, it’s always someone else’s fault and we never own what’s ours to change and get right. Over and over again, the same thing happens, we fall behind, we’re let go, things fall apart and we feel duped and that everyone is against us. Maybe we need to stop bearing bad fruit, allow God to try us in the fire, and start bearing good fruit.
I recall a spiritual director once telling me” if you find something, that is the same problem and issue occurring in your life wherever you go it means the problem is yours and you need to correct yourself, you’re the problem not everyone else. As Jesus says, “remove the plank from our own eye before removing the speck in our sister or brother’s eye.”
Jesus calls us to bear good fruit that will last. The trees represent us, and the good fruit is the Spirit and the bad fruit is the Evil one. If we want to bring forth good fruit having been shaped, molded and tried in the Fire we must live the fruits of the Spirit.
As you and I prepare for Lent let’s reflect on Galatians 5:22-23
“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
God is truly shaping, molding us trying us in the Fire so that we might bear Fruit that will last!
Fr. Stephan Brown, SVD