[Originally published as Changed by Heat and Pressure]
“For everyone will be salted with fire.” Mark 9:49
Heat softens and pressure reshapes.
The foundational material of our continents is mostly made up of igneous and metamorphic rock. The upper, middle, and lower granite gorges of Grand Canyon expose the magnificent beauty of the schist (metamorphic) and granite (igneous) formations. The fact that it is metamorphic rock tells us something about its past.
The schist and granite that comprise the foundational rock have been through some tough times. Metamorphic rock is formed by heat and pressure. The original material encountered intense heat and extreme pressure to metamorphose it into something new. The heat softens the material causing it to be pliable (moldable like soft clay). The pressure causes a molecular change to take place, creating a new material.
This is the same process described in Romans 12:2, which says we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The word translated as “transformed” is from the Greek word for metamorphosis. Mark tells us what Jesus had to say about what it takes to be transformed when he pointed out that we will be salted by fire. We are to be changed into something new through the agents of heat and pressure.
The challenges and struggles of life provide the heat and pressure required for us to be transformed (metamorphosed). This is why James can say, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet troubles of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
The beauty on display in the Granite Gorge of Grand Canyon is a direct result of incredible forces upon the original material. Likewise, the beauty of Christ shines through us as we stand firm through the trials of life.