There was a group of women doing 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.” 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 study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver, beyond sharing 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. This was 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 the verse, “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver in place, 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 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 you are in God’s hand. He has His eyes on you and He will keep holding you and watching you until He sees His image in you.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.