I sat mesmerized as I watched the glassblower work at the Hadeland Glassverk factory when we were visiting Norway. I was surprised by the intensity that I felt as I watched him mold the glass into its intended product. I’ve seen glassblowing before so my thought was that we’d just watch for a few minutes and then move on to something else – say lunch. Before I knew it though I was totally engrossed in the process.
I can’t give you the specifics of glassblowing. I’m still not totally sure of how it all works but what I saw that day made a huge impression on my soul. Yes, my soul. I know that sounds weird but hang with me for a little bit.
The glassblower had already started on his project when I arrived. He held a long pole with a “blob” at the end of it and placed it into a blazing hot furnace. He carefully watched that blob and pulled it out at just the right moment. He’d roll it, blow through the pole, and use some tools to help form it into what he wanted it to be. I was sure it was going to be a vase.
The demonstration lasted for probably fifteen minutes (which explains why hand blown glassware is so expensive) and the process was repeated again and again. The blob would go into the furnace, get pulled out, blown on, occasionally pounded ever so gently, rolled, formed and stuck back into the fire. The part that made an impact on my very soul was when the glassblower donned a huge soft cloth mitt and lovingly stroked the glass as he twirled it around. He was so gentle and took great care not to break it. It seemed as though he was soothing the glass. (I know, this sounds crazy, but really that’s how it appeared to me.) As the glassblower held the glass in his hands and worked the mitt around it I suddenly felt myself in the hands of God.
It was most surely the Holy Spirit who spoke to my heart during that demonstration. No, there were no audible words but the message piercing my soul went something like this: “Nancy, this is how God loves you. He watches you go through hard times but he won’t let you burn up. He’ll pull you out just in time as he lovingly holds you and molds you into the woman he longs for you to be. Watch the way that man strokes the glass. Do you see how gentle he is with that hot mess? That’s the way God is with you. He ever so gently wipes away your tears, your fears, and your rough edges to mold you into something beautiful; a unique woman created to glorify him. You will go through hard times but your Father God will be there to comfort and mold you all along the way. He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.”
I literally cried that day as I watched the glassblower work. I know! Nuts! I even laughed at myself over the fact I was crying but you know what? I still cry today when I retell that story. It was that powerful of a moment. And this past week God gave me the opportunity to share it with a couple of friends who are walking through tough times. And not until I shared it did I realize that God had shown me this right before we started walking the cancer journey this past fall. Through it all, I know that God has never left my side.
Do you know what that blob of glass turned into? A platter! Not a vase at all. It seems its maker knew exactly what he was doing all along; the same way God knows how to mold me into woman he wants me to be. He is making me beautiful.
Are you walking through the fire today? You are safe in his hands – an ever-changing work of the Master. You are beautiful and you are loved.
This will be my last Watchful Wednesday post for a bit. I am trying to get a project finished and need this writing time to work on it. I’ll still be writing my regular Monday posts and even though I’ll not be writing about it, I’ll still be watching for the amazing ways God shows his love to me. I hope you’ll be watching for him, too. Be blessed!
Thank you to Holley Gerth who so graciously allows others to link up to her blog each week. She’s an amazing encourager!
Thank you for your very nice comment on my blog today! I appreciate it. I just had to hop on over to visit you, too! I am so glad that I did. This post was most encouraging to me today. I am also fascinated by the process of glass-blowing. I can’t believe how those blobs turn into things of beauty – all because of the hands of the artist. It is that way with God, too, isn’t it?
My life this year has been full of fires, starting with my dad’s terrible fall and subsequent passing in January. Since then, it seems that the trials won’t stop. And, in the midst of it all, I have struggled mightily with fear. Worrywart by nature (no, Dr. Google is NOT a friend), I have found myself tortured by the enemy’s attacks. But fire can bring out beauty – and I am relying on the Lord like never before. And truly, isn’t that what it’s all about?!
(By the way, here’s some favorite fiction authors of mine:
Christian authors: Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Bill Myers, Linda Rios Brooks, Tosca Lee, Steven James, Alton Gansky, James L. Rubart, Mike Dellosso, Robin Parrish, Robert Liparulo
Non-Christian: I’m on a historical detective theme right now! Enjoying these authors: Louise Penny, Charles Todd, Anna Lee Huber, C.S. Harris, Mel Starr, Laurie King – to name a few!)
Thanks so much for checking out my blog, Sharon! I’m glad it encouraged you. I’m sorry you are walking through some “fires” right now. I can see that you are leaning on him and that’s a good thing. Thanks for the author names. I love it!