Monday, October 29, 2007

The Refiner's Pot

Malachi 3:3 - "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

My (Sharon) friend Deedra and I used to talk together often about the illustration of the Refiner's Pot. How God is like a Master Silversmith who will "turn the heat up" in our lives so that the dross (sin) will come to the surface - so that He can remove the dross (sin) . . . which results in Him being able to see a more clear reflection of Himself in us. (see below for a more detailed version of the illustration.)

I liked this illustration because I liked the idea of being able to reflect Him more and more clearly as time goes on. What I'm finding though, is a lot more dross than I thought was there! And before I can be a more clear reflection, I become a very hazy reflection as the dross comes to the surface. And I also find I have a very STRONG desire to "blame" the dross on my surrounding circumstances. But if I do that, then I'm saying that the dross is not really my sin. . . when the bottom line is that God waits for me to call the dross for what it really is (my sin) before He takes it away.

Sigh. . .becoming more like Jesus is a painful process. . . but I am so thankful that He is patient with me and loves me enough to surface the dross in my life so that I can be a more clear reflection of Him.

Here is a copy of the story about the Refiner's Fire that I found online:

Malachi 3:3 - "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study 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 Bible study.

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 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 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."


sara said...

thanks for this sharon. have been thinking alot about the refining process lately. it's not always easy and doesn't always seem like much good is coming from it but i guess that's where trust comes in. "he who began a good work..." appreciate your insight. sara

Kellie said...

thanks for sharing, friend. thanks for opening up and allowing us to see God at work in you. :) I appreciate and love you dearly!

Krista said...

I remember Deedra talking about the refiner's pot. I still struggle with waiting in the hot spot. I've been feeling the hot spot. Honestly, I don't like it.