I received this thought a few months after Tom and I got married. I have been thinking about this thought for the last few weeks. I pray that I can remember it as I face the trials the Lord has trusted me with.
Malachi 3:3 says "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study group 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 study session.
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 refining of silver
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver of 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. 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 reflection in you. Reminds me of an old saying I keep reminding myself of : "God doesn't put tin foil in the fire (it only last a second). If you're feeling the fire, you must be gold or silver!