Family Furnace

“Most people have come to prefer certain of life’s experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain or even ugly paper.”

-- Rachel Naomi Remen, doctor, author, speaker

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Many homes built prior to World War II had coal furnaces.  The coal furnace would create warmth in the cold winter months, but every so often, it would backfire, and whoever was tending it at the time would be covered with soot.

The coal furnace is a metaphor for our families.  Families provide feelings of warmth and comfort, but there are frequently times when we feel like we just got blasted by our own soot -- and that is not a bad thing.  In other words, you cannot exist very long within a marriage or family without becoming acutely aware of your own faults. Family is where your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are supposed to surface because those are the things you need to work on.

When a coal furnace would backfire, the homeowner did not abandon it.  They would just clean up the mess and get it working again.  That is all God is asking of you as well.  When one of your shortcomings becomes painfully obvious, restore any relationships that may have been harmed, and then repair whatever it is about yourself that God wants you to fix.