When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross (garbage, useless ‘stuff’) to consume and thy gold to refine.
The words are harsh and talk about the flames of our trials. They cannot harm us. We feel its heat and that often times causes pain. It can be hard to see through the heat and the smoke and it never seems to run along the side of our pathway rather right in to our path, delaying our journey and forcing us to question our current route. God will cause those flames to burn up all those things in our life that are, simply, garbage. The flames shall refine our gold and refine us in this journey.
Mouw says, “Life is a series of stepping in to the unknown”. We do it every single day. We do not know what we will meet on the road as we drive from here to there. We do not know who we will meet or what thoughts will enter our minds and hearts throughout the day.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2011 I did not know that I would hear that day that my mother has only a few months to live. The words stung my heart and my eyes burned with tears. I stepped in to another unknown and did not want to be there. I found myself facing yet another series of flames and the fires of destruction seemed, at first, to burn through all that was good in my life instead of the garbage. But as I looked more closely; those flames continued to burn away feelings of anger and refined, indeed enhanced even more, my love and adoration for my mother and my commitment to her. God’s grace continues to be all-sufficient, supplying me with everything I need to face this unknown with strength, dignity and integrity.
Mouw goes on to remind us of the words of St Ignatius: “In consolation remember desolation. In desolation remember consolation”. We must remember the times when God is with us; both the good and bad times. No matter where we are on our life journey we must never lose sight of the fact that God has never lost sight of us. Not once. We have fallen, we have been hurt, we have cried and cursed but God has never left us.
My mother is the brightest star in my sky. She is the person I admire the most in this world. She has brought me comfort and shown me what love truly is. She has taught me how to care for myself and to care for others. She has shown me a raw faith that very few people have achieved in this life time.
When you face the next inferno that crosses your life-path, and you will; remember to thank God and give Him the credit for sustaining you – for holding you – for supplying ALL that you require.