Hello, friends. As I get older, I feel as if I’m sometimes just beginning to glimpse parts of the meaning and purpose of life. Yesterday, I saw something of this a little more clearly, and tried to set it down. This is how it came out…

* The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV).
* For he will be like a refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2; NIV).
* Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NIV).
* They will still bear fruit in old age (Psalm 92:14; NIV).
* But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NIV).
* For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13; NIV).

How you test and refine us
In your fire!

When we suffer
And lose our way,
We can feel so alone –
But you are always with us.

Help us to learn
From each experience,
Maturing year by year
Till we bear fruit,
Becoming, at last,
All that you planned for us
Before our birth.

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