The Crucible's Fire paints a picture of God's steadfast love through trials as he holds one family in the loving and protective crucible of his faithfulness.
Published: November 30th, 2018
After having several children, parents often feel well-equipped to take on the challenges of another child. When Matt and Tammy Parker decided to add a child to their family, they had little idea of the blessings and struggles God had in store for them. The Crucible's Fire paints a picture of God's steadfast love through trials as he holds one family in the loving and protective crucible of his faithfulness. Readers will learn:
· The raw emotion of unexpected hardship
· How to rely on God for strength
· The beauty of God's faithfulness when it seems all hope is lost
· How to trust in God through their own dark night of the soul
· The sanctification that comes only through the refining fire of trials
· Strengthen your own trust in God's refining faithfulness as you join this family through the joys and pains of raising a special needs child.
What Inspired Me to Write
I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to articulate what inspired me to write The Crucible’s Fire until I actually sat down to put my thoughts on paper. I am a very emotional person by nature and feel everything deeply. This makes it difficult to pin down the one driving force behind penning this story; there are so many reasons why I wanted to share our journey with others.
However, there was one enduring idea that continually came to mind during the darkest of days and that continues to sustain us still: HOPE!
Truly, there were days during my daughter Brynna’s roughest times when we had every reason to feel hopeless. Some days the news was all bad and no silver lining could be found. Yet, in the midst of those troubled seas, there seemed to continually be a strength and courage flowing from the hope we knew we had in Christ. Those days transformed an intellectual knowledge of the concept of hope into an intimate relationship with a Person. He was, and is, our hope. We knew there were others out there who needed to hear this story and who needed Hope.
During the hardest of times, we saw family and friends, doctors and nurses, and occasionally the total stranger express thoughts of despair or resignation, sometimes for Brynna and sometimes for themselves.
I wanted to articulate the source of our hope to them, and that source was Jesus. I also felt a deep compassion for those who struggle with making sense of what God has for us to walk through in this life. Sometimes the numbers don’t add up and life doesn’t make sense, but we can still trust in the transforming process of His grace.
Though I have kept up with Brynna’s progress via email and blog for some time, I never knew how to put all that together in a succinct manner that would be beneficial to others. The idea came to me after preaching a sermon where I used the crucible and the process of refining as an illustration. I used many of Brynna’s stories to illustrate the concepts, and I believe that is when the Holy Spirit gave me the final inspiration for The Crucible’s Fire. He tied all the stories together and helped me see what He was doing in our lives the entire time.
Every day as I watch Brynna grow and progress, no matter how slow, she continues to inspire me. She inspires me to write, to live, to love, and to continue trusting. I admit there are times we lose sight of where we have come from and Who brought us this far, but her gentle smile and infectious laughter always seem to rekindle that warming fire of hope.
About the author:
Matt Parker serves as a high school teacher in rural East Texas and has served as a bi-vocational minister for almost 25 years. He has recently retired from pastoral ministry to develop discipleship materials to encourage the saints and help deepen their walk with the Lord. He is married to Tammy, his high school sweetheart, and together they have four biological children, three adopted children, one granddaughter, and serve as foster parents.
Their youngest daughter, Brynna, was born with severe physical and developmental delays. Over the past decade, Matt has kept friends and family updated on her condition, progress, and their sanctification through email and his ministry blog at The Crucible's Fire.