Posted by: JennyRain | July 29, 2010

Man Week @ the Rain: Jason Wert

Welcome back to “Man Week” at the Rain!

I have invited nine of my favorite guys to guest blog for the next two weeks. The topic I gave each of the men to blog or vlog about was:

“The stripping process of God” or “Living unmasked”

Today’s guest is Jason Wert. For those of you who are regular readers, you’ve seen Jason featured a couple of times before on my Friday Favorites. What you don’t know about Jason is that he has also been a peer-critiquer on some of my posts. If I am struggling with how to say something, or not sure if things need to be re-worded, Jason’s my go-to guy because I so admire his writing.

Jason brings a depth and reality to the story of being “stripped” that demonstrates that this thing called following Christ is NOT for the faint of heart. In a word – Jason has courage. He has had a tough journey, but through it all he has kept his eyes and faith focused on Christ. I so admire Jason’s journey, and how his bravery trumps his fear – around every single corner. He also has an amazing teammate in the journey (did I mention AMAZING!?!) – his wife Amy – and I’ve enjoyed learning more of their story too.


Jason’s Blog: www.jcwert.com

Jason’s Twitter: @jcwert

1948 degrees Fahrenheit.

1948 degrees.

And you think it’s hot this summer.

To be fair, I’m rounding up.  The actual temperature to refine gold is 1947.52 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s the point where gold melts and it can be mixed with chlorine gas to help bring the impurities to the surface where they’re skimmed off.  Then it’s a wet filter or dry scrubbing process to remove fumes.  The slag is then allowed to cool where the trapped and refined gold floats to the bottom and becomes solid.  The rest of the impurities are rolled into molds and then the gold’s put into a ceramic filter.  Then it’s another electrochemical process to further refine it.

I think there’s a reason that the Bible mentions God’s children as being refined like gold.

Refinement isn’t a fun process and it takes a lot of time.

However, there’s no denying the end result is much better than what you had to work with in the beginning.

When Jenny told me the topic for this week of guest postings was “the stripping process of God” my mind kept running to the Bible verses speaking about refining as gold.  I keep thinking of the way we refine gold today and imagine how much harder it had to be during the time of Christ.

After all, they didn’t have modern crucibles or chlorine gas injectors.  They did it the old fashioned way.  So when the writers of the Bible put down the words they were describing a process that was long, tedious and challenging.

I don’t know if you’ve walked through challenges in life that have refined you but it’s not a fun process.

It usually involves a lot of pain and the surrender of many hopes and dreams.  It could be financial issues, it could be emotional struggles or it could be toxic relationships.  Job problems.  Church politics.

The list of refining fires can be endless and different for every person.  The end result, however, is the same…it makes us have new perspectives on life, mercy and grace.  It makes us realize that there’s no way we can see the big picture the way God can see it.  It makes us thankful that we can’t see that picture.

The last decade of my life has felt like one big crucible.

Big enough to cover zip codes in at least three states.  Jenny asked me to write about a time God’s refined me and stripped away things that I had been holding on to for value or keeping in front of Him but I couldn’t narrow it down to one.

You see, I’ve come to realize that I can’t take an individual time of feeling the Refiner’s fire and hold it out as more significant than others.

I’ve come to see that every struggle, every challenge, every painful moment of mistake has molded my character and heart to be more in line with Christ.

I’ve seen my passions for the things that break His heart increase within me.  I’ve seen sinful things that used to tempt me fall away.  In those moments when the fire had gone and I was cooling I could see the impurities that had been skimmed away because of the trials.

I used to laugh when I read the opening of James because while I was in the midst of many challenges and trials I found it hard to find joy.

I couldn’t see while I was being refined the reason for James to write this in James 1:2-4 (ESV):

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The perspective of distance and time…the cooling down…has shown me the ways that God brought me closer to steadfastness.  I’m far from being perfect and I’m lacking in a lot of things…but I’m not as far away from the ideal as before the refining process began within my life.

Here’s some good news…you’re not as far away from it as you used to be either.

If you’re in the midst of a trial right now…trust that God is refining you for something better.  Refining is not a fun process and it doesn’t happen quickly but the purity at the end of the process is something to be treasured.

It’s a treasure more valuable than gold.

***

From Jenny: Hey guys – got any girl-related questions? Pop on over to my friend Joy’s blog and ask that question about us women that has confused you for decades. I guarantee you, Joy will give you a great answer!! You can access Joy’s blog here.

Share

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Goodwin, Jenny Rain Schmitz. Jenny Rain Schmitz said: Man Week @ the Rain: Jason Wert: http://wp.me/pA6oA-EG […]

  2. […] CLICK HERE to visit Jenny's site. […]

  3. “The perspective of distance and time…the cooling down…has shown me the ways that God brought me closer to steadfastness…. Refining is not a fun process and it doesn’t happen quickly but the purity at the end of the process is something to be treasured.”

    love your thoughts. we are so quick to want to rush the refining process of our lives… we think God should just pop us in and out of the microwave and VOILA… we’ll be done.

    God is old school…he will heat up in a cast iron pot and slow cook you till your heart is tender enough. slow cookin’ takes a long time but it’s always worth it.

  4. God is surely old school! 🙂 Thanks Patricia!

  5. Jason this is awesome. I say often that I wish the process of sanctification was a lot quicker.

    I was talking with a friend on Twitter last night about beauty in imperfection. Our sin is imperfection and ugly, but God’s love for us is so great He sent Jesus to be our sacrifice, to pay our ugly debt. Matthew records for us that Jesus said to be perfect like He is. That of course isn’t going to happen this side of Heaven. But Paul says we are refined day by day. And one day…our refinement will be completed and we will be as pure gold.

    • Thanks, Prudence.

  6. My favorite “I’ve come to see that every struggle, every challenge, every painful moment of mistake has molded my character and heart to be more in line with Christ.”…

    GReat post!

    • Thank you.

    • Thank you. 🙂

  7. Great, great post Jason! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thanks, Tal.

  8. I cannot imagine if this process was fast. I would never be able to keep up with what God is offering! There is pain with the heat, but if I let God wrap His arms around me, it is not so intense. He alone knows how fast or slow to make my life. But, I have to pay attention. I can’t just sit around. It takes action to make it to the final refinement. It doesn’t just happen. I have to do my part. I have to acknowledge my fear, pain, and gratitude. I have to TRUST God. He’s been refining gold for a really long time. He knows when there are still defects lingering. I cannot hide from God’s eye. There is nowhere to run. But, maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to run anymore.

  9. […] As an example, I wrote my first two guest blog posts during the month…one for KatDish and one for Jenny.  I also wrote a third one for Tony York that just hasn't been posted yet.  Before […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: