1 Corinthians 3:10 (The apostle Paul writes) According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.
The church in Corinth, like most churches in the first century, was under duress. Paul uses a metaphor of “fire” to describe the season of struggle and adversity. He also uses the metaphor of “builder” to describe the leaders of the church. V.13 is particularly interesting to me:
13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.
Paul is saying we learn what we have when we’re under pressure, particularly when it comes to relationships. Relationships that endure are fairly rare, but when they do they are a great gift.
There are very few people in my life with whom I share long relationships aside from family members. For me “fire” hasn’t been conflict but mobility. I’ve moved around quite a bit in my adult life, much more than I wanted to. But there are a handful of people with whom the bonds of love and friendship have endured. And so today I’m thanking God for these precious few. Don’t know what I’d do without them.
Lord, give us grace to stay connected to one another when challenges emerge. Amen.