By Howard Taylor

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As a young boy growing up on a farm during the war years, I recall watching my grandfather working his forge in the blacksmith shop. During this time all tools made of iron were considered valuable, because all iron was devoted to the war effort. All of the neighbors would bring their broken tools to his shop for him to rebuild.

In his shop there were many piles of tools. I remember seeing tools on the junkpile: some were outdated, some broken, some dull and rusty. There were tools on the anvil melted down, hot and ready for the craftsman's hand.

As tools of God, we also shall be on the anvil occasionally, being brought face to face with God, realizing that we have nowhere else to go. Anvil time is not to be avoided. This time reminds us of who we are and who God is. He sees our life from beginning to end. He may lead us through a storm at thirty so we can endure a hurricane at sixty.

A tool is useful only if it is in the right shape, experiencing the anvil. A dull ax or a bent screwdriver needs attention. So do we. We all have been melted down, formless, and in a spiritual slump. When motivation wanes, or responsibilities are depressing, or enthusiasm is gone, it's time to be placed on God's anvil. A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape. So does God. Should God place you on his anvil, be thankful. It means He thinks you're still worth reshaping.