Brick-making. Who thinks about that? And who cares? And why in the world would I write about it? Well, bear with me for a moment. We all know that, in order for a brick to be useful, it must be rock hard. It cannot have the slightest bit of flexibility or softness. But it doesn’t start out that way.
A brick starts out as a soft, lumpy pile of clay, straw, and sometimes even manure, depending on which country you are in! It is put in a mold and then set out to dry…in the hot sun…for a long time.
Maybe that is us, too? Perhaps? A mushy lump of clay, straw, and manure. Nothing of value. Impossible to be useful. Until we are hardened by the sun. Until we are tested and tried. You see, it is only by the heat that we can be made into something valuable and useful for the Kingdom.
In James 1 we are told: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
This is nothing new to your ears, I am sure. I don’t know why I am even wasting my time writing it. But maybe someone out there somewhere needs to be reminded that their time under the hot, burning sun right now–where they are completely uncomfortable and miserable–will turn them into something useful for God’s purposes. If we have the right heart about it all. If we don’t grow bitter and angry at God for allowing it. If we turn our eyes on Jesus instead of our own suffering. If we keep a proper perspective.
A brick has no choice but to become hardened in the sun. But we humans actually have a choice. We can become more self-centered and bitter and miserable when we are placed under the heat. Or we can become stronger…more like Christ. It’s up to you.