July – Challenges

At times life can be very challenging.  For me personally these past months have been tough due, in no small part, to witnessing the suffering of a close family member.  Feelings of helplessness and fear can so easily cloud our outlook and lead us to question the nature and character of ‘a God who allows these things to happen to us’.  But if I am really honest I must admit to having learnt more about my true self and the need for salvation during this time than I ever did when things were ‘cool’.  And as a result I feel I have seen more clearly the true character of God in providing the means by which we can become ‘like him’ as is promised in 1 John 3:1-3, ‘See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.’  During one of my heated ‘on-line’ searches I stumbled across this wonderful article, which I want to share with you now:

‘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 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, because 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.”

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.’