Here it is:
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the Book of Malachi. In Chapter 3 verse 3 it says: ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver’. This puzzled the women and one of them offered to find out all about the process of refining silver and report back to the group next time. She tracked down a silversmith and made an appointment to visit his workshop to watch him at his craft. She didn’t mention the reason for her interest.
She watched as the silversmith held a piece of silver in a flame and let it heat up. He explained that to refine silver one needed to hold the metal right in the centre of the fire where it was hottest so as to burn away all impurities. The woman thought of God holding us in such a hotspot from time to time but wondered again at the words of the verse ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver’. When she asked the silversmith if he really had to stay sitting there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined, he answered that yes, he not only must sit there holding the silver steady but he needed to keep his eyes on it every second it was in there. For if the silver was left a moment too long in the heat it would be destroyed.
The woman asked one final question. ‘How do you know when the silver is fully pure?’ He smiled at her. ‘That’s easy! It’s refined when I can see my reflection in it like a mirror.’
I feel like I have been in the fire for several years now. It is comforting to know The Refiner is holding me there - watching carefully to be sure I don't burn. It is also frightening to know He will keep me in the fire until I reflect His image, because I feel like that will never happen. I am too rebellious, too selfish, too much fighting the process. Oh that I could just give in and let The Refiner make me into something beautiful.