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Fire refines our true colors

Recently I packed my bags and headed north. My twin grandbabies, 7 months old at the time, and my 5-year-old granddaughter were waiting for their Mawmaw to come hang out with them while their sisters and dad were on a trip.

My daughter Mel usually manages just fine with the babies when Dad is gone, but her evening helpers, the girls, had joined him on this trip. Just think, y'all, about getting everyone fed, helping with homework, giving baths, changing diapers, reading books and saying prayers before bed. And when morning comes, it starts all over again.

We breezed through baskets of laundry, feedings, laughter and loving our time together, but alas, I hadn't gotten to spend time with three of my other grandchildren who live in Tupelo. Going to the movies came to mind, but I get in a heap of trouble if the movie I chose is too scary, or maybe has some less-than-stellar vernacular. So, wanting to stay in everyone's good graces, I opted for a painting pottery party.

We rounded up the kids at school. We jumped into the car and headed off for an afternoon snack before tackling the world of ceramics, paint and imagination.

When we entered the doors of Wet Paint, we were greeted with a humongous selection of pottery and a wide range of prices.

The number of bottles of paint to choose from was overwhelming. Above each bottle was a fired pottery shard, which showed the true color of the paint. It looked totally different before it was fired in the kiln.

As we painted, Karlie, the oldest of this crew, looked at me and said, "Here's a that'll preach, Mawmaw. We don't find out our true colors until we are put in the furnace and the heat changes us. This pottery looks really pretty dull right now. I don't like the colors, but when it comes out of the kiln it's going to be beautiful."

That'll preach. First, a grandchild is looking for "that'll preach" moments. Secondly, when life has got us in the "cooker" it may be painful for a bit, but if we could just rest in the knowledge God is with us and He will bring out the true colors of beauty after the old junk has burned off.

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)

Hold on to that promise. No matter how the world paints your life, God ultimately causes the brilliance of those to shine.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.

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