I used to melt aluminum cans in a homemade forge, basically it was a steel bucket hooked up to a hair drier that when lit with a fire could reach a couple thousand degrees. (It’s amazing what you can learn via youtube, am I right?)

And I would melt aluminum cans one at a time, to pull out the metal. And the thing I learned is that not everything in an aluminum can is metal…that there is a lot of junk in a can. From the labels on the outside, to the nonstick coats of varnish, to the little bits of leftover soda and dirt in the can – there’s a lot to an aluminum can that’s not aluminum. And I wanted the good metal.

And so I would heat the cans to 2000 degrees, and at that temp, all of that extra junk burns off and separates from the pure metal. I learned at 2000 degrees, I could separate the good metal from the junk of the can. I could smelt and refine metal in my backyard

Now, why bring that up?

Because I believe we each have junk in us —- old wounds, hurts, times of unforgiveness, and even labels we place on others and ourselves. I also believe that Christ’s coming in Christmas is more than just a helpless infant but a promise of a redeemer who reworks our hearts – and refines us – and calls out our pure metal – and gets rid of our junk. God is the reworker of messed up things.

And so if there is junk in you, know that God is not done with us yet . We are more than the mistakes we have made; in God there is forgiveness, love, and a Savior who refines us into the people God has always dreamed we could be.

May God always rework who we are and guide us to be better than we ever thought possible!