Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the Scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable statement in the third verse: “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3).
One lady decided to visit a silversmith and report to the others on what he said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling the silversmith the reason for her visit, asked him to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, “Sir, do you watch while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes ma’am,” replied the silversmith. “I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the statement, “He shall sit as a refiner of silver.” God sees it as necessary to put His children into the furnace but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.
Before she left, the lady asked one final question, “How do you know when the process is finished?” “Oh, that’s quite simple,” replied the silversmith… “When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is complete.”
God allows us to go through hard times so that we may grow and become smooth and shiny. His goal is for us to become a reflection of Him that not only He can see, but also so others can see Him in us.