Friday, June 05, 2009

Trials - The Refiner's Fire

There are many around us who are struggling each day with trials that feel unsurmountable. This little story brings me comfort to know that when we are being tested and tried that the Lord is right there with us. Sometimes we are in the midst of things, and truly in the heat of the fire, but He is with us, helping us to become like Him.

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women 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 silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silver smith, 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 he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

She asked the silver smith 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 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 even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, "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."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you.

Author unknown


Anonymous said...

I love that scripture. We all get tried to refine us into better people. Love Grandma Marilyn.Remember He is there holding your hand every step.
Love grandma Marilyn

Kim and Tammy said...

Joanna, just needing to let you know how much you and Cory and the boys are loved!

Erin said...

Thanks for the encouragement today. I'm not going through a trial per se, but it's always great to be reminded that God created me and He has a purpose for me. He wouldn't be holding me to the fire unless He saw something of value in me - Himself. Mind if I borrow this story?