home > Pastor’s Desk > The Secret Life of Patience, Heat, And Pressure



The Boathouse Launceston Flood memorialIn a matter of weeks Kim and I will celebrate another wedding anniversary. But this will not just be another another wedding anniversary for us. This one will be special. After months of contemplating our options, this morning we bought each other our mementos to be exchanged in mid-June. These mementos are precious. Like all things precious such as these mementos and our upcoming anniversary, they take a long time to prepare. That long time is needed in order to make the regular investments of time and effort. Our mementos have each had dozens of people in their chains of custody including miners, drivers, dealers, buyers, jewellers, sales people. So has our marriage. Our parents, our families, our friends, our pastors, our teachers, our mentors, our children, have all made an investment in our marriage – most without even realising it. All precious things require patience. But patience alone can not make anything precious, including who you are.

  then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
Job 22:25-26


The flood levee in LauncestonPATIENCE

¶ Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
James 5:7

I ponder these things today as I consider the momento I will give Kim. It is a precious momento apt for a precious occasion. Its components, according to Wikipedia, took tens of millions of years to form. That’s patience. There are some things in life that can only be attained or achieved by being patient. Patience is one of the hallmarks of the Spirit-filled life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Patience is sometimes God’s means of making us into who He has called us to be. Patience is always God’s test of who we will trust and whether He can entrust us. Patience is a necessary step in the process of something being made precious

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
First Peter 1:7

I have had a keen interest in the progress of someone whom I felt from the earliest days showed remarkable potential at virtually anything they put their hand to. They seemed to be gifted academically, on the sporting field, with music, and a few other interests they developed. However, as I observed them, I noticed a pattern emerge in their life. They always seemed to be in a hurry. Perhaps it was due to their natural giftedness that they felt that they didn’t need to study/train/practice like everyone else. Such patient preparation seemed to them as if it was a waste of time. As they aged I noticed that their impatience and reluctance to do what boxers call their “work in the dark” (all of the early morning distance running and before dawn gym work) left them behind in the areas in which they once excelled. That was when that dreadful character flaw of excuse-making/blaming-others became so virulent within them. To this day, although they love God and are faithful in their church, they are still blighted – and dare I say – their soul has been retarded, because they are so impatient and so upset with everyone and quick to blame someone else for their failings. They have gone from job to job never being able to get along with their boss. Hopefully one day they will learn that being still is markedly different from doing nothing.

to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life;
Romans 2:7

But patience alone will never transform the ordinary into the extraordinarily precious. People say, “Time heals all wounds.” But it doesn’t. It needs something else.  



The Apostle Peter stated that our relationship with God, which he called our faith, was more precious than gold – but that this precious faith would be made so by the fire of testing. The process of making something or someone precious requires patience and intense heat

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
First Peter 1:7

the-refiner-of silverHeat is used in metallurgy to refine a metal such as gold or silver. As the metal becomes molten and is then poured into a casting, the impurities (dross) are drawn to the surface. While the precious metal is still in its molten state this dross is scraped off. The prophet Malachi, writing at the time when the prophets declaration of Israel being restored to their land was fulfilled after their return from the Exile, stated that God wanted to further refine His people as a silversmith refines silver.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
Malachi 3:3-4

Silver refining is tedious. Unlike gold, if the silver is exposed to too much heat for too long it can turn to a gas. The silver refiner must patiently heat the precious metal, then patiently wait for the dross to surface. As he removes the dross this process is repeated until all the dross has been removed. The refiner must continually bring the molten silver out of the furnace and look straight into it during this process. Only when their own face is perfectly reflected back to them has the process been completed. In a similar way, God puts those He wants to transform into the heat or refining. His eye is ever on them during this process and He always removes them before it harms them. And with each stage of His refining in their life, His likeness is becoming clearer to all.

And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
Zechariah 13:9

Patience and heat are essential for the process of precious-making. But there is one more ingredient or step in the process which must be fused along with them.



A beautiful sparkling diamond on a light reflective surface. 3d image. Isolated white background.More precious than the most precious metal, are diamonds. These highly prized jewels are among the hardest substances known to man. When cut by a skilled jeweller diamonds can display the spectrum of light’s colours. A diamond was once a piece of organic matter (carbon) that over several million years of heat and great pressure (from being buried way beneath the earth’s crust) was eventually transformed into coal which several tens of millions of years later after more heat and pressure, was then spewed out in various volcanic explosions having been transformed into diamonds, to await the day when a miner would unearth them, a jeweller would beautify them, and a radiant bride would wear it as a momento to her thirtieth wedding anniversary

This process of taking a piece of carbon and putting it through a long process of enormous heat and pressure is a metaphor for how God transforms an ordinary lost soul into a precious child of God whom He adopts and grants full and equal inheritance rights to. When the one who has trusted God through this transformation process finally breathes their last, He calls their transition into their real home – precious.  

¶ Precious in the sight of the LORDis the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15



Gold and silver are repeatedly refined in order to be purified and made precious. Diamonds are the result of millions of years of pressure, and heat. They are then sought after. When found, they are not yet what they will be. A Master Jeweller takes them, cuts them, and then features them within clasps of gold. The precious jewel and the precious metal form a lifelong partnership. The seller then presents them in a showcase with appropriate spotlights directed at them. Then the day arrives when the one destined to take up the precious metal and jewel combination walks into the showroom and is connected with their memento.

God is the orchestrator of a like process when it comes to making His children precious. The next time you feel that things aren’t happening quick enough for you, or that life is really hard at the moment, or that you’re under a lot of pressure, or that you’re copping a lot of heat, or that it feels like there are parts of your life being cut away, or that spotlight is being turned on you – remember that this is probably God’s precious process at work in your life.

Since you are precious and special in my sight,
  and I love you,
I will hand over people in place of you,
  nations in place of your life.
Isaiah 43:4 NET

Pastor Andrew