Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Beauty of Slag

My girls and I recently went on a field trip to Sloss Furnace in Birmingham, Alabama. Sloss was a pig iron-producing blast furnace from the late 1800s until the 1970s. Our tour guide explained to us how pig iron was made. The part that I found particularly interesting was the production of something called slag. Stick with me while I try to explain how slag was produced:

Limestone and red iron ore were refined by melting them together to draw out the impurities. The impurities, or waste, had to be removed every so often to continue the refining process. However, the waste (also called slag) would harden. It had lumps and holes all over it. It seemed to be useless. But Sloss didn't waste any part of the refining process. The slag was a profitable product. It was sold for one penny per ton. It was used to create items for construction purposes.

A piece of slag

As I sat and listened to the tour guide explain that process, I was struck how God uses a similar process in our lives. He sometimes allows us to go through trials, the fire, to remove the waste from our lives. But He doesn't stop there. He uses that waste. The waste from our lives may look ugly to us, but He sees it as an opportunity to create, or construct, something beautiful.

In my case, there was a time when I went through a trial, a refining. The waste (sin) in my life rose to the top during that time. It was ugly. When I repented of the sin, He removed it from me. However, I could still see how horrible it was and thought my life to be useless. But He didn't waste that sin, or what I learned in the process. He has taken my story and used it to encourage, or build up, others. He didn't waste any part of the refining process. He receives glory even from what we consider to be useless.

Has He used the slag in your life? Has He created something beautiful from what you consider waste?


  1. wow... I guess we can praise God for the slag in our lives right?? thanks for the 'wisdom'.

  2. I love this! It reminds me of something I learned in a Beth Moore study, she called it a reversal of destiny... it is when God steps and and reverses what the enemy meant for bad and for our harm and turns it and uses it for His glory. It is wonderful that He can redeem everything, even the slag in our lives...

    Hope you have a great day of homeschooling!