Saturday, January 12, 2013

Refiner's Fire

A lot has run across my feeble mind these past 6 months or so... Often while trying to catch up with people or journal or however it is that I attempt to process this crazy thing called life, I use the analogy of being refined by the fire. Little did I know how beautiful and how prized this time really is:

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.' 

The more 'efficient' and 'tech savvy' our society and culture becomes, often the more I want to retreat into a commune of sorts. I'd love to be able to at least temporarily go back in time when things were simple. Back to a time where we had to work for things, I mean, really work for things - physical work. I want to know the process of what I consume's growth, I want to see the cycle of how something is made. I don't want to take things for granted! 


This verse can be puzzling in today's hustle and bustle lifestyle. How often do we encounter anyone who refines and purifies silver. I don't even know a silversmith. 

In attempts to find the deeper meaning to this verse, one woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver. As she watched the silversmith, 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 as to burn away all the impurities. 

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; she considered the verse: 'He sits 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 man answered that 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. If the silver was left 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 easy -- when I see my image in it.' 

Talk about an 'aha' moment! I was so encouraged when I first read this that I couldn't keep it to myself. :) If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

The Refining Fire: "In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd." Pres. Faust

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