There was a group of woman in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says:
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."
This verse puzzled the woman and they wondered what this statement means about the character and nature of God. One of the woman offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for the interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the siversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...". She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.The woman was silent for a moment.
Then she asked the silversmith "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that's the easy part, when I see my image reflected in it."
I've read this before, but it's good to read it again. Sitting in the fire hurts, and I think that's where God has had us for a while. I'm ready to be out of it for a while!
And so it goes.
3 months ago