3 THE CRYSTALLIZATION PROCESS
Read 1 Peter 5:1-10
Welcome this morning to our guided tour of the Sugar Mill. So far we have progressed through the milling stage, that stage of the Christians walk where we are taken and cut down and hammered and pressed through the Dewatering Mills. We passed through the diffuser to obtain the juice even though it still has impurities. We also covered the Clarification process where the solids were filtered out and then the milk of lime that was added to clear the juice of the dissolved impurities. We covered the huge Evaporators until the Golden Syrup was produced. In other words we covered the Milling stage, the Cleaning stage and the Boiling stage that the Christian has to go through.
Let us now continue further in the Mill. By now you all have a fair idea of how the Golden syrup is produced. This Golden syrup is pumped into what is called Seeding Tanks. It is here that the formation of crystals is started, hence the word seed, ie, to sow seeds. Specially grown very small crystals called seeds are added to the syrup and thoroughly stirred in. These small crystals form the nucleus on which the final crystals form. From here the contents of the seed receiver is sucked up by vacuum into what is called a Vacuum Pan. The seeded syrup undergoes another boiling process, this time under vacuum and not under pressure.
Although not exactly the same, but for want of a better illustration, what happens here is almost like taking a tin of condensed milk and placing it in a pot of boiling water. This results in caramel. What actually happens in the Vacuum Pan is that the syrup is thickened and the crystals start growing around the seeded crystals. Through a series of tests the crystal size is determined and when it has reached a certain size, the strike is made, ie, entire contents is dumped into a Strike Receiver. This dark, thick mess is then pumped through a special pump into a series of open vessels, which have slow moving coil stirrers. These are the Crystallizers. Here this soft toffee-like, caramel-like mixture, called massecuite, is slowly allowed to cool and thicken further for a determined period. At the right time this is fed into centrifuges – but more about that next time
Now how to apply this gooey mess to the Christian? The sanctified and cleansed Christian is seeded with the Word of God. This is the nucleus on which the Christian grows. Without a speck of dust as nucleus there would be no raindrops; so it is with the Christian. No Word of God, no growth. To become sugar the crystals have to first start to grow. So it is with the newly born and purified and sanctified Christian, made clean by the cleansing blood of Christ. The Newly formed “Golden syrup” Christian, as it were, has to be seeded with the Word of God. Without the Word of God we can go no further. Unfortunately many Christians do not crystallize, they never study and meditate and pray on the Word of the Lord.
Having been seeded with the Word of God we have to increase our knowledge, thickened in a Vacuum Pan. We are not pressurized, but the Holy Spirit in us teaches us, gently but surely we should grow in grace. When we are ready, God releases us, so to speak, back into the world but not to be of the world! Into the Strike Receiver we go! We have to go to the Crystallizers, to mature in the knowledge and experience in Jesus our Lord. Normally young Christians are so on fire for the Lord that they jump into the world to save the lost. This is a duty we MUST NEVER neglect. Unfortunately, many do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the Word of God, and in certain circumstances put the Lord to shame through thoughtless and hasty actions and words.
Don’t laugh at these young Christians – they have an earnest desire to bring Jesus to others, and this is good and God sees the intentions of their hearts. We ourselves still have to guard that we do not do the same. James said in James 1:19, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.” Remember we have two ears but one tongue; we have to listen twice as much as we speak. Hasty speech so often loses a potential convert for the Lord. One MUST testify, only use it wisely. When you have received wisdom, then you have received maturity – not before!
In the crystallizers we are cooled down. Before you get me wrong I want to make it perfectly clear that God will NEVER cool down your love for Him. He will also NEVER cool down your zealousness, your fire for Him. What the crystallizer stage does for you is to cool down your OVER-zealousness to His perfect will; your impatience to a more patient attitude. Over-zealousness and impatience will bring you out of the will of God faster tan you think. When we crystallize into maturity, and submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives we come under control of the Holy Spirit. Be sure your fire for the Lord is not affected. Keep your fire burning through your love for the Saviour. Our emotions are controlled here. Have you checked your growth, your crystal size? Are you growing, or have you not gone further than the Golden Syrup stage? Only after crystallization are we ready for the Centrifugal stage.
You know, in the Massecuite, or thickened crystallized stage, when the Christian is undergoing trails and tribulations, he or she does not easily come apart. Hot syrup, when split, runs all over the place, and is difficult to clear up afterwards. Massecuite, however, drips slowly into a solid lump, which is easily scraped up; it still has it shape! Do you keep you keep your shape when you are in trouble? Only in Christ can your shape be kept. It is He who supplies the asker for wisdom with wisdom. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Are you like this?
Let us read 1 Peter 5:10 again, because this sums up the crystallization stage. Peter, the one who was once so irrational and impulsive, but now in full maturity through the Holy Spirit, says, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish you, strengthen you.” Listeners, be with me tomorrow as we reach the second last stage of the tour through the Sugar Mill.
God Bless you all.