The Silversmith - Refiner and Purifier

I came across this post on Facebook. I’ve heard a story similar to this and absolutely love the analogy and wanted to share it here with you all.


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There was once a group of women studying the book of Malachi in the Old Testament. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” 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 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 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 “Yes”, and explained that 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 damaged.

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 this world’s fire, just remember that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are refining you. "You are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ."

- Unknown

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“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” - James 1:2-4

We read verses like Malachi or in James to count our trials as all joy but often our hearts and minds go in the complete opposite direction. Sorrow, annoyance, anger. We can’t understand how “sally” over there has every thing we’ve wanted yet does not serve or love like Jesus. Yet we are at church every stinkin’ Sunday and Wednesday serving! Can we not catch a break? Maybe just an extra love of a $5 bill in our pocket for a coffee?

But if we take an honest look at our life, a good hard truth seeking look, we’ll realize the trials and hardships that we have walked, trudged or maybe even crawled through have shaped us into the lovely humans we are. Those trials scrape away all the pride, melt off the selfishness, and shape us into people who want to love like Jesus who serve and desire for others to know the same God we know that transformed our lives.

My trials have been shaming, icky and weary but it’s those hardships that have brought me to where I am today. A woman who knows what Jesus’s saving grace looks like. What “terms” and “words” in the Bible really mean like new creation and redeemed. What it means to lay your burdens at the cross. Our past, our current trials are what connect us with those who do not yet know Jesus. It humbles us to know we are in need of a Savior, a Shepherd to lead the way.

As the article said, if today you are feeling the heat of this world’s fire, just remember that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are refining you. "You are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ." He is bringing you to a place where you are perfect and complete, lacking nothing. He’s melting away this world so you can join Him in the one to come.