You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it (Isaiah 45:8).

[B]e children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).

MO is at Black Rifle Coffee, Beyond Black is in the cup, silence is on the playlist, and God is in the room working wonders inside crucibles.

Have you noticed that not all stories of faith have buttoned-down endings?

Believers don't always have life experiences that get wrapped up with a bow. Some testimonies seem to meander through distractions — the story gets lost in time — God gets out of focus instead of in sharper focus. The truth is: We suffer, feel pain, and struggle to get close to God, even as we question Him.

Our struggles teach us how to face the music and dance.... as we grow closer to Abba.

Broken, betrayed, bullied, and battered are just the beginning of the "B-crucibles." And, never forget there is always something going on BEHIND what's going on in each of them. So, life IS complicated, and not all the pieces fit. It is what it is... and God is always working... doing more than we know... in our crucibles.

I have found that knowledge comes from the text — the Scriptures. Faith, however, comes from getting to know the author: Abba. And our faith is birthed and tended through our adversities, challenges, and crises. Without crucibles, our faith is just a nebulous and uncertain hope.

God meets us inside the struggle, within our crucibles. He is already working wonders... But he doesn't expect us to lean on a shovel and pray for a hole. He expects us to follow His lead. Actually, our faith is born out of our death — the greatest struggle of all, our death to self.

Lesson Learned:
Without the crucibles, faith is a noun to define or a concept to discuss. Our crucibles transform our faith into a verb.

It's as though faith needs uncertainty and darkness and chaos to exist — the most challenging madness happens right on the border of the Promised Land. Mmmmm.

It's a mystery, a God thing. In every crucible, God longs for us to see Him, to trust Him, and to lean in on Him. And, sometimes, it takes a while for us to learn that.... But, He never stops longing. And with faith in hand, we never stop learning. Consider this story, true or not, to be a parable:

A crowd was gathered at the exit doors waiting for the downpour to end, and a little red-haired girl was trying to convince her mother that they needed to run in the rain."

Finally, the mom says, "No, we'll get soaked."

"No, we won't, Mom; remember what you said this morning?" the young girl said as she tugged at mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

Without the crucibles, faith is a noun to define or a concept to discuss.
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'"

"Honey, you are absolutely right; let's run through the rain. If God lets us get wet, well, maybe we just needed washing."

Some will hurry past moments like this and miss the faith-point inside the crucible. But this mom didn't. She saw Abba in the parking lot.

Maybe we all need a little running in the rain!

I said in the beginning not all stories of faith have button-down endings. So, here we go with life, ready to run through the rain!

Thank You, Abba, help me see beyond the crucibles... into the darkness.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).