A few months ago she had the opportunity to fire some of her pieces in a wood kiln in our area. The person who owns the kiln fires it only rarely, so this was a great opportunity for her. She had made a vase with three globes on it that she particularly liked. It was perfectly shaped and beautifully carved.
I over-heard her telling a friend that this was her favorite piece. She went on to show her friend how one side had a different coloration because of the ash on the piece. Also, she said it could be determined which side the vase was on while firing because of the differing coloration.
Isn't that just like us and the Lord? If we were never to be put into the kiln, close to the fire, we would never be strong and sturdy, fit for use. The raw clay is good for nothing but to make vessels to be fired.
As we submit to the fires, the ash colors us, it changes us, it makes us into His image. We look and feel different once we have been in the fire.
2 Corinthians 3:18
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD."
1 Peter 4:12,13
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.