“My life has been a living hell!” Stevie exclaimed, with her fist and teeth tightly clinched. “I don’t understand why things are happening as they are, but I wish God would have mercy on me,” she continued. “My children are misbehaving, my finances are in shambles, I failed my school’s exit exam, and I can’t get any help from my family. It’s like no one even cares about me. Not even God.” For a few years now, Stevie has been going through some of the most difficult and hardest times of her life. She doesn’t know how things started, nor when they will end. All she knows, she’s ready to give up, because it appears God has done the same. Her biggest sources of encouragement, being her Bible and prayer, has failed to lift her up. She’s been knocked down by her circumstances and hasn’t made any effort to stand. I’m not sure if she’s too weak to try or figures it won’t do any good. Either way, she’s been at her lowest for far too long.
When most people think of hades (hell), fire is the first image that comes to mind. It’s been described or portrayed as a raging, never-ending dungeon of flames, that can never be extinguished. Water, your tears nor prayers, can get you out, once you are put in. While Stevie thinks she’s been sentenced to hell, she’s in fact been thrust in the fire. In her case, the flames will neither burn or consume her, but instead will be used to produce in her character, resilience, patience, and strength. The trials that she’s endured is not meant to punish her, but to prepare her for what’s ahead. Although she doesn’t know what God is preparing to do through her, He knows to accomplish His mighty plan, He must take her “through the fire.” Looking at her life now, I can only imagine the overwhelming pain she’s about to experience. Being in the heat isn’t nice or fair, but it’s necessary for what she’s about to do. When it’s all over, Stevie will be as pure as gold.