Prayer in the Crucible

Fragments of a star.  NASA
Fragments of a star. NASA

Amazing how things come at you from disparate directions yet still point you to True North.

This image of what NASA thinks used to be a very large star, exploded in a place far away in a time that we can’t relate to. Still the remnants of that exploded star are made visible to us, and in them we see color, and beauty, since to us color has special loveliness; but also debris.

The colors, theoretically, are the result of the pressure exerted, the debris the inevitable result of destruction, no matter the rightness or wrongness of the force.

Change does this.

Change is a Crucible.

In the midst of a crucible, we feel only the twisting agony, the unrelenting pressure, the heat of chemical change.  The birth… of a new reality.

Gasping for breath, stomach clenched against the pain, mind unable to focus,  swirling with inescapable wrenching of frustration,  rejection, fear of the unknown.

I am worn out from my groaning.  All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.  My eyes grow weak with sorrow;  they fail because of all my foes.  (Psalm 6:5-7)

The words of desperate prayers differ.  If words must be put to this particular situation they might be something like:

” How much longer?”

“What have I done?
“Where are you?”

Sometimes, the prayer is just the stretching of our defeated spirit,
swirling up,
a thin current of air,
barely discernible,
smoke emitted from a flickering candle,
mist rising off a warm pond,
dust in a stream of sunlight.

Silent to those around us,

Yet the spiritual realm must surely be deafeningly resonant with the furious roar,
clash and drumbeat
of thoughts, fears, desires, pain, anger, denial, accusations, demands, questions, doubts.

What color will the debris be?
What is the color of a roar of frustration?
What is the color of a gasp of pain?
What are the colors of fear, denial, and rejection?
What is the color of exhausted surrender?

Holy Spirit, please, help me in my weakness.  I no longer know what I should pray for.  I am confused, and doubt my motives.  Search my heart.  Align my will to the will of God.  (Romans 8:26-27 loosely)

Ever hopeful. There is Light there among that exploded star.  Bright, sharp and clear.  Color comes from light.
And the inevitable debris.  Crumbled hubris, the rubble of expectations, mine and others…


I pray that the debris of this crucible will be touched by Your Righteous Right Hand,
and made to be as beautiful as this smashed star.
Only You, My God,
can make an exploded star so lovely.
In Christ’s precious name, Amen.

This was originally posted on my devotional blog Riverside Reflections.  Thanks for reading, you bless me.

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