Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting strengthens us when in the crucible! Really?

When we are going through a hard time, when we are in a crucible experience, a wonderful passage in the bible for encouragement is Isaiah 40:31 (ESV): ‘those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength.’ The NIV translates the word ‘wait’ as ‘hope.’ As I was going through my crucible experience, I decided to study the passage a bit more and discovered that the root meaning behind the word ‘wait’ is not about waiting for time to pass until something happens or even hoping for something. No, the root meaning is ‘twisting,’ a twisting that produces tension which then makes something stronger.

Engineers at Brown University, in partnership with universities in China, say they’ve developed a simple procedure that strengthens steel without losing any of the material’s plasticity. So simple in fact, that it’s just a matter of twisting it. So as we go through our crucible experiences, remember that the hard time twisting is making us stronger so much so that we shall mount up with wings like eagles; we shall run and not be weary; we shall walk and not faint.

Here is a wonderful object lesson for kids—and adults too! Take a sheet of a paper towel. Grab the opposite corners and twist it until it can’t be twisted any more. It will form something looking like a rope. Now try to tear the paper towel by pulling hard on the ends. The simple twisting has made it very strong!

The book, In the Crucible: How God Sustains and Transforms in Hard Times, has more reflections on God’s work in our lives in hard times.

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