On Monday nights, my house church family gathers to share a meal, pray together and study scripture. It’s definitely a time of nourishment in my life, and I can always count on our time together to soothe my soul. I am regularly blessed by our conversation and, in particular, the stories shared about the work God is doing in our lives. It was during our discussion last night that I was reminded of an email my roommate back in CA sent me during a trying time.
Malachi 3:3 says: ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.’
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the 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; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘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.’
Rest in the truth that God sits with us in the fire, carefully refining us until He sees His image within us. Rest in this truth and the beautiful picture it paints of God’s love for us. Rest in this truth.