Sunday, March 3, 2013

Refined by Fire

On Saturday night, Dan & I went to the annual fireman's inspection dinner to watch Nathan get sworn in as lieutenant.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed getting to know new friends, eat delicious food, and spent time laughing and relaxing.

We also received a wonderful surprise that was totally unexpected.  Nathan received the 2012 Fireman of the Year Award.  I am so proud of him.  He was grinning from ear to ear most of the night and it was wonderful seeing him enjoying himself and out on the dance floor intermingling with everyone and dancing.

I Peter 1:3-7 ~  

 Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on. God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. 

You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do. On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns.

I have always loved these verses in I Peter.  We go through so many hardships in this life and so often, we question and complain and despair that God even cares.  Yet, he tells us that the hard trials we go through are like a refining fire and the end result is that our faith is strengthened through the trial.  

For years, I've struggled with the fact that my child has multiple disabilities.  I've feared, worried and at times, even despaired for him.  Yet, to see how much change has occurred in his life over the past four years, and to see how God has worked in him has truly been a miracle.


God has used something that I never expected to actually work this change in Nathan.  Becoming a member of the fire company was not something I ever would have dreamed he would do.  This was a young man who was fearful of everything.  He never left our side.  A therapist said that he did not see himself as ever being separate from us.  Yet, one day he came home from school and told us he was going to a fire meeting.

And over the past four years, he has grown by leaps and bounds.  He makes good eye contact with people.  He is friendly and other than those times when he feels very uncomfortable, he is social.  He has a job and is doing well.  And the thing that is actually neat is that the traits that make up his ASD diagnosis, actually help him stay focused and driven in the fire department.


This morning as Dan and I were praying together, Dan thanked the Lord for Nathan's autism.  God has used this disability to actually help Nathan achieve wonderful things.  And the struggles Nathan deals with have strengthened my faith and my reliance on the Lord.

So I can truly say that not only have I been refined by fire, but Nathan literally has been refined by the "fire" of the fire company.

God is just so good!