On the Anvil


“Anvil Time” is what Max Lucado calls times of adversity. The comparison is parallel to the technique a blacksmith uses when the mallet shapes a piece of scrap metal into something useful. Our Maker can use various trials, challenges, and even our emotional pain to shape us into the likeness of His son to make us useful for His kingdom. 

All of us have been “on the anvil” at one time or another. One of the anvil times in my life was my season of cancer. I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Tt was stage four—the worst you can have—in several places in my body and also in my bone marrow. I was afraid. I was reminded of Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” 

On “the anvil” of diagnosis with a deadly disease, I asked God to allow me to learn the lessons of lymphoma. This gave me purpose to face the days ahead—when I suffered side effects and even contemplated suicide, God was pounding me to be more like His son.

In difficulty, depression, or despair, even facing death, it helps to remind ourselves that God is with us on the anvil. First Peter 1:6–7 says, “In this you suffer greatly, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of great worth than gold may be proved genuine and may result in praise glory and honor when Jesus Chris is revealed.” Lucado says, “Should God place you on His anvil, be thankful, it means He thinks you are still worth reshaping.”

May I pray for us?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for times of blessing and times of adversity. Help us, Lord, to remember your faithfulness, love, and grace in the middle of the trials and pain. Thank you for the words found in Isaiah 38:15, 17: “I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction.” Thanks, Lord, for giving me a peace through your promises, that you are my God, who is mighty to save. Thank you for your presence with me on the anvil. May you be glorified in my response. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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