Dec 31, 2020    Trey McGuire

The word refined is defined as this: with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing.

Whether it’s sugar that is refined or gold, there is a steady process that makes the final element pure. Now, I’m not comparing us to sugar or gold, but I am saying that we as humans work the same way.

Tonight at midnight, we’re going to finally bid farewell to 2020. This year has gotten its fair share of blame for its problems, but, what if, just maybe, we make the choice to let the events of this year be part of that refiner’s fire that has the power to purify us?

Someone said just today that they were getting yet another middle finger from 2020 as it makes it’s way out the door. I myself have had my own instances that have made me wonder what in the world I did to deserve the turmoil this year. Truth is, you have, too.

No, I don’t have some magic words for making this new year awesome, but what I do have is a little bit of perspective that I’ve only learned this year because some folks helped me see it. Here it is: I’m walking into a new year better than I walked into the last one.

That statement can only be true if I choose to allow the hellacious moments to have their refining power in me. The fact that we had to face an early delivery of our baby girl made me face fear head on, and I learned that even in the most unsure situations, that I could depend on my faith and my family around me. Hellacious moments with major refining power. Fear was overwhelmed with assurance in the fact that I wasn’t alone and had a safe place to be fearful, but then pushed right back out there to face my fear head on. So yes, REFINING! Why? Cause the next time I face fear like that, I now have a baseline to go back to that only allows my fear to exist in its rightful place.

I can go on and on, and so can you. Here’s my challenge: What moments in your life just over the past year have refined you? What has pressed you so much that it made you face the not so pleasant parts of yourself? When faced with those parts of you, what was also standing there to take the place of the poisonous parts that were being exposed?

Perspective. It’s not a pipe dream. It’s a reality. And how we view things truly does usher in elements that can either build us or break us.

So, let’s allow the refining fires that we are in have their full effect. And when they expose something that is poisoness to us, let’s slow down, examine, and press in to the refining process, and allow ourselves to be purified. Just as gold is refined by fire and diamonds are created by immense pressure over time, so are you and me. The difference is that when we are refined, we get to tell a story of how our refining changed our lives...and then our refining is given even greater purpose, cause it’s helping someone else who is starting their beautiful, yet painful, refining process.