Painful refinement

Purifying silver takes skill. To remove the impurities, it must be held in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest. But timing is everything and close attention must be paid by the silversmith. Leave the silver in the fire just a moment too long and the heat will damage it. The craftsman must wait until he can see his image reflected. At that moment he knows that the impurities are gone, and the silver can be removed from the flames.

There are times in our lives when we feel as if we are being held in the fire, and it is often at those times that we question the existence of God. Why has he allowed us such suffering and why doesn’t he step in to help?

Well, the Bible reminds us that God ‘will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver*’. We were created to reflect the image of God, but in all of us that image is marred and broken. God’s greatest desire is that that image should be restored and to do so requires our purification. So, when the flames of life seem at their hottest it may not be that God is absent, but rather that he is waiting to see his image. 

*Malachi 3:3

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