I hounded my father to visit the factory where my grandmother’s husband worked.  Years after my grandfather had died, my grandmother married Howard Harrison.  He was nice man.  Heavy smoker.  Heavier beer drinker.  Thin as a rail.  He worked in a glass factory in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Even as a young boy, I was interested in finding out about family.  Who they were.  What they did.  Including Howard.  Whatever I could discover.  So, off we go to that infernal factory in Jersey City!

What an experience.  Poor Howard.  Working day-in-and-day-out for decades in that blazing heat.  Sweat cascading down.  Blaring noise forcing us to cover our ears–didn’t help much.  Scary machines.  Claustrophobic spaces.  Molten glass poured into steaming molds.

Poor Howard.  Making a living in a living hell.  I don’t remember him ever retiring.  Only dying… after being told to stop drinking beer.  Poor Howard.  I wished a better workplace for that nice man.

God also wishes better for His people, even when they turn their backs on Him.  He calls them to turn around and come home to Him.  Jeremiah 11–‘…that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace…’ (v.4).

Deliverance comes by God’s hand.  From His loving heart.  In Jesus, we’re freed from the ‘iron furnace’.  From hell itself.  Yes, hellish whispers can be heard in this life, but the ultimate fiery blast will never consume us.  Not because of how good we are.  Get that straight.  Only because of what God’s Son did for us on the cross.  Jesus’ blood alone delivers from the terrors of hell.  His blood alone.  Got it?

We can never thank Him enough.  Let’s give it a good try, anyway!

Thank you for delivering us.  Amen.



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