Preface: Even with all the grand and glorious promises for the future, we have to deal with daily challenges and struggles. The Thessalonian church was no exception.
I was having the worst day of my already bad week. Then I remembered a few occasions when in the middle of my difficulties God had allowed me to see why things had happened that way. And when I saw the end result, I actually was happier and thanked Him that it went His way and not mine. I dug a little deeper, and I realized that it was He revealing His Love to me and for me. It’s true when Paul says that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28, NKJV). And he says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18, NKJV). Thank You, God.
A group of women were studying the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver” (NKJV). This verse puzzled the women. They wondered what this statement meant regarding the character and nature of God. One of them offered to research the process of refining silver and to get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week she called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity regarding 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 in order to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot. Then she thought again about Malachi 3:3. 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. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent. 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 eyes on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
Gureny Lukwaro, Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A.