Refining Silver

Several ladies were reading the third chapter in the Prophet of Malachi: “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.” As they came to the second and third verse, they had several opinions regarding “the launderers’ soap and refiner and purifier of silver.” “He will sit as a refiner”—they could not understand this phrase from God’s Word. 

One of the ladies was deeply moved in her heart by this Word, but she was unable to find clarity. Without hesitation, she decided to visit a silversmith and asked him to describe the process of refining silver. Her real purpose of the visit, however, she did not reveal. 

The silversmith explained the refining process of precious metal, which still held base metals or impurities, through fire. “And you are constantly sitting and watching this?” the lady asked. “Most definitely,” answered the man. “That is most essential. I must be seated directly beside the melting furnace and constantly keep it in my view. The reason for this is that the silver or gold cannot remain in there one moment too long or too short. If this happens, it becomes unusable, hard, or even remains too soft, and then it is therefore unable to withstand the test.”

The lady was preparing to leave the shop; her heart was deeply moved. She saw herself in the hand of the Savior. Her heart now understood “the launderers’ soap and a purifier of silver.” “He will sit as a refiner.” Her life, with all its troubles, hardships, and disappointments flashed before her. She no longer felt the blaze of the melting furnace; instead, she saw the deep love of God, and her heart was filled with praise and thankfulness.

The silversmith called her back. He forgot to tell her something. He knew that the purification process was complete when he could see and recognize his image in the melted mass. The perfection of this process was called the “gleam of silver.”—

This is exactly how Jesus, our Master, sometimes brings His children into the “melting furnace” in order to remove all the impurities and slag and to make them more prepared for the work in His Kingdom. He is sitting next to them with His eyes full of love, watching the purification process, full of wisdom and compassion. He is right beside us waiting, until His purpose in us has been achieved, so that He can remove us from the oven of adversity, completely ready and mature for His service. 

Dear friends, let us learn from this example! Jesus keeps us in the melting furnace until His image is revealed in us. When this happens, His purpose with us has been achieved. 

The sooner you give room to the Lord Jesus in your heart, the sooner you obey the Holy Spirit and yield to His Word and leading, the sooner He will remove you from the melting furnace. It is really your own problem if Jesus can’t help you. All of your own desires and inclinations must be burned in the fire of God’s loving discipline.

Look up to Him, the Lord Jesus, and learn to understand what He is trying to teach you so that He can remove you from the melting furnace into an intimate relationship with Him, a blessed life. He is sitting and waiting for the exact moment, for the gleam of silver! 

G. F.

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