1 Corinthians 3:12-13 –  “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”

Ha, ha, ha! I can’t help the images this passage brings to mind. Remember this is an article not a sermon or a Bible study.

Are you familiar with Robert Service?

He wrote a poem titled “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”

I share a small portion, which is well known and one of the few poems I get a chuckle from.

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun, by men who moil for gold; The artic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see was the night on the marge of Lake Labarge. I cremated Sam McGee.” (the poem’s opening and closing stanzas)

The other image is a basic form of smelting. A process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal.

The smelting process relates to our opening Scripture as it shows the basic idea of purifying metal, regardless of dirt or rock.

The heat separates the metal from the slag. Swipe the slag away then turn up the heat and more impurities surface. Swipe those impurities away then turn up the heat. Continue this process until you have the quality metal you need, for the purpose of intent.

All of this brings out the humor from “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.

I’m convinced that our God of creation has a sense of humor and a desire for quality people.

I have a saying for myself: “God loves me too much to leave me like I was. He loves me too much to leave me like this and I’m confident in the knowledge He loves me enough to lead me to become the person He intended me to be.”

The Scripture of Romans 5:3-5 seems to be the “Forge of Fire.” It says; “more than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

So the humor and encouragement I gain from Robert Service’s poem is … image of Sam McGee in the Crucible of Life.

“I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear; but the stars came out and they danced about ere again. I ventured near; I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: ‘I’ll just take a peep inside I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked,’ then the door I opened wide.”

“And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar; And he wore a smile you could see a mile and he said, ‘Please close that door. It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm — Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.’”

Rick Warren said, “A sense of humor is God’s antidote for anger and frustration.”

Here’s to your grins and giggles. If you get a chance, for your winter entertainment, read the full poem by Robert Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” 

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