TemperedWhen I was a young boy working for my father in his sheet metal shop, next door worked an old blacksmith.

He was a blacksmith cut from the old mold of metal working. He had the forge, the billows, the hammer mill, all the tools of the trade. My younger brother and I would periodically sneak over to his place and watch him work. He would look through his metal pile for a good piece of steel. Finding one, he would thrust it into the scorching hot fire of the forge and get it cherry red. He told us that in order to strengthen a piece of steel, it first had to be tempered. That was done by heating it, hammering it, and then quickly plunging it into a bucket of cold water. It wouldn’t take long to figure out if it was a good piece of steel. Inferior steel would soon crumble under the stress of the process. Those inferior pieces, he would cuss at, and then throw them into the junk heap, awaiting the arrival of the scrap metal man who would haul them away.

Quite often, we are tested in the same way; through fire, water, and heavy blows of a hammer. If we are unable or unwilling to withstand the test, then we will end up on the scrap heap.

The lesson to be learned is that when things are hot and heavy in this world, we need to hold fast, not crumble. If we can withstand the tempering test then we will be fabricated into a real treasure. A work of art. A marvel.

Stay off the scrap heap!

Things that hurt and things that sting
Shape a soul and make it King.