This Heat Right Here

My mother detests heat. She grew up in rural Arkansas, so she’s definitely familiar with it, but seriously miss her when the temps hit high. She has to go inside. Funny enough, I’m quite the opposite. I spend so much time being cold that I appreciate the warmth of outside. I don’t like to necessarily perform activity in the heat, but I can usually move through it without incident – or at least the heat of the weather, and not that of God. For when our Maker elects to be in the business of fire, I am likened unto my mother, and not a fan. I had a friend that texted me recently and said, “Just checking in. You’ve had a lot of things happen in a short course of time. Are you ok?” I thank God for placing people who are “carriers” and “encouragers” on the heart of others. It can get really lonely, even with the presence of God when you move through the earth concerning yourselves with others, while reciprocation looms far. I’m also not one to need a lot of attention, but when I’m in need of it, I really am in need, like my mom for a cooler climate. I appreciated my friend doing what my family terms a “wellness check.” Cause saints, honestly, no matter how much covering we have with the Master, He meticulously placed us in community with each other and as such, we must cover each other in prayer and presence. Some of us are constantly on rotation in “the heat” of God, others are experiencing a “change of temperature,” but either the case, we must trust the process to the meteorologist of our wellness and well being. But that does not mean we should allow “this heat right here” to go unnoticed. For we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

Isaiah 48:10 decrees, “I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” In my brief exploration, I learned that refinement is linked with purification. I also learned that the refinement of silver involves the removal of impurities for use. But in this scripture, God is instead seeking to determine how we will trust Him while we are navigating difficulty. I personally would not choose a furnace to demonstrate my trust in God, but admittedly, that is the precise place where I cannot afford to “play church or play relationship,” as my very next breath is dependent on the supply of oxygen from the Living God. I didn’t choose suffering to be sure. In fact, honestly, I would rather it be something else, or even more transparent, someone else; but God chose these trials for my edification in Him. How I show up, how I posture myself, how I remain faithful and trusting in Him is the only methodology that will enable my endurance.

I’ve shared that I have danced before the Lord every day in August. Tomorrow is the last day of my assignment. I am not one to lie and say that it’s been easy. Certainly, I’ve appreciated and enjoyed the interconnectedness and revelation with God during this time. I’ve turned off the television and social media to be intentionally in His presence and day by day, suffering has seemingly been magnified, with my most recent account of our sweet Diamond transitioning. We were blessed to have 17 years with her. I’ve written about the lessons learned from her on many occasions. However, in the end, she was suffering, and we didn’t want that to be her portion. The latter portion of Isaiah 48:11 declares, “I will rescue you for my sake – yes, for my own sake! I will not let my reputation be tarnished; and I will not share my glory with idols!” I kinda feel God’s heat on this one! This suggests to me that even in our furnace of suffering, we are not alone. God will demonstrate to the world that He’s in control and that whatever we endure will be for His Glory. My intention, your intention to continue to carry out our assignment in God, despite or amidst what we endure amplifies our Creator in ways that our sheer attempt or removal from said heat cannot. Further, what we develop in the fire cannot be manufactured. It is pure and it shall be enduring. Author, Vaneetha Rendell Risner said it like this, “The furnace contains treasures I can’t find elsewhere.” Jesus! Perhaps instead of focusing on the furnace, we should instead draw our attention to the fortune. Again, Jesus! This heat right here may not be the temperature that we’d prefer, but it is what is necessary for our relationship with God.


  • Shaniece Gamble

    Whew as Always such an amazing, engaging, look in the mirror read. Love love the truth and honesty the vulnerability that’s captured in this reading it truly gives us readers something to think about. My Deepest and since apologies about the lovely Diamond in such a short period of time she became my friend as well I always look forward to see her or hearing her she will and is very much so missed 💕🙏🏽

    • Stephanie

      God be praised! Help us God to find truth in you! Thank you in regard to Diamond. I was looking for my coworker this morning….miss her much! ❤️

  • Jayla Moody

    This was great, Dr. Stephanie. Thank you for sharing.

    • Stephanie

      God be praised! Thank you so much for reading!

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