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I love the scripture found in the third chapter of Malachi, verse two, from the New Testament which states, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap". Whether you are religious or not, I think there are some great lessons presented with this verse. It has always been easy for me to see the correlation of everyday living to the refiner's fire. In movies we can often see blacksmiths beating metal, thrusting it into the fire until it's white hot, beating it some more, thrusting it back into the fire, and so forth. But what about fuller's soap?
After a bit of digging, I found that a fuller was the individual who would take the raw, filthy wool from sheep and purify it using a variety of techniques, including an extremely harsh soap that would ultimately help to make it clean. It was an undesirable job. It was dirty work. It took a great deal of effort to make it white.
Trials in our lives require us to use fuller's soap. Fuller's soap can be an apology. It can be healing from a physical affliction. It can be mending a broken relationship. It can mean paying whatever price needs to be paid to make something right. Sometimes, we carry fuller's soap with us daily, continually. Its abrasiveness is painful, horrible, tough, and gut-wrenching. It is also desirable, stimulating, empowering, and necessary. Don't be afraid to use fuller's soap, for in it you will find healing.