The Tempers of Water and Fire
When Satan and his darkness have a tight suction wrap intending to pull me closer to the drowning depth of the encroaching waves and rising tide of trouble, that's the moment when I get smacked in the face with a wave to remember my Baptism “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” (depicted by the triple feather crest on the bird). I'm then reminded that God has me no matter what. He, after all, is the final Victor. As swift as lightning, God frees me from the grip of darkness through the Trinity (primary-colored lightning). His promises are found reading/hearing/memorizing His Word. He teaches us to use His weapons of Truth and Faith (Ephesians 6) by using them FOR US in battle (scorpion tail critical hit on the kraken aided by God's lightning). We don't need to force our heads underwater to see and fully understand what all is going on. We don't need to see at all. We just need to trust in God that He will always faithfully bring you through the storms of life no matter how many.
Pastor Fisk talked about our faith being tempered on the Ninth Sunday after Trinity on Aug. 9th, 2020. The sermon was titled 'God and Mammon.' Pastor Fisk speaks about temptation in the context of 1 Corinthians 10:6-13 as a test, tempering, as in metal work with fire.
Verse 13 reads: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (ESV)
Tempering heats metal in order to purify (getting rid of smelt) and strengthen it through the fire and refining process. Pastor Fisk reminds us: "God will not break you."
God will not test you beyond your ability. God will bring you through the trial to teach you according to His will and purpose for you.
So when the time comes for my chronic mental imbalance overload, like "lightning on the brain," I am in for another lesson of His Grace, Mercy, and Truth even amidst demons whispering in the world or in my conscience calling me "crazy, delusional, emotionally sensitive, irrational, unreliable, irresponsible, or an intentional excuse-maker and escape artist." I am held to take a deep breath and remember my Baptism and that He has me though these fires to strengthen my Faith. Yes, my head is held underwater by darkness at times, but I am given rescue breaths by His Word and Sacrament from my faithful Pastor back home.
With eyes of Faith, I am witnessing Him envelope humanity in His Grace won by Jesus. ("And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28) Yes, we (ALL believers AND unbelievers) are still sinners capable of great evil because of our frail broken bodies and minds. With God's enveloping Grace, Mercy, and Truth, we can put down and end the darkness and hellish, life-like nightmares for a time.
These are mysteries that each of us learn with each of our own unique set of crosses and experiences in our lifetimes. God tempers you in order to use you (yes, YOU) as a witness to His Great Grace, Mercies, and the Truth found only in the Holy Bible.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4 ESV.)