Staff days are an important part of our annual planning, and this year was no exception. Jenny had planned a day out at Moneypenny's Forge just outside of Portadown.
In the forge was tough - the heat, the physical exertion, our lack of skill. It reminded me in many ways of our lives, when we experience seasons of fire. Our immediate response is to run or cry out. One major reassurance is that God never leaves us as we walk through the fire.
Isaiah in chapter 43 v 2 assures us "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…"
"We have a patient teacher who helps and encourages us and redeems our mistakes."
When God wants to shape us, the fire is under His control and the right amount of heat is used to strength us so that He can shape and mould us into the design He has in mind. The forger’s fire as we saw last week, is not an easy place to be, but Isaiah 44:12 reminds us that He will allow us to go into the fire to strengthen us, so that we are refined and stronger in our walk with Him. Sometimes the fire is not of His making - like Daniel, the enemy thrust him and his friends into the fire. In the fire He is with us and even our enemies will see and recognise His power, and we won’t be consumed.
Thank God, that His fire energises us without harming us! Burning but living as lights in this world for Him
Our day out came at the end of 2 days of mapping out our work plans for the year ahead, and discussing our new strategic plan. It felt poignant that we spent time together in the forge!