July August 2021

Dear Friends

I can’t admit to being the original author, but this piece is in the public domain (author unknown) and hence copyright free, and I know many of you will not have access to this. I hope you enjoy.

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight – indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. [Malachi 3:1-3]

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 will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”. 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 all the 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 the 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 and purifier 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, 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.”

To finish, I ask you to let this just sit on your heart. Perhaps you would like to ask yourself: when have you felt like you’ve been in the middle of a furnace? When have you felt the heat of stress and worry burn you up? How does it feel to know that God was watching you and refining you, without allowing you to become “injured”?

Having a Christian faith doesn’t protect us from the trials of life but hopefully does help us to cope with them.

Stay safe and stay well. Best wishes and every blessing.

Pete

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