"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire, like a launderer’s soap. And He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness." ~ Malachi 3:2-3
Purified by the Father, and thank God for it.
One prayer I frequently pray is, Thank You, God for uprooting in me that which does not serve You and planting in its stead the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the Truth of Your Word.
I guess, when it comes down to it, it's simply a prayer for the application of the refiner's fire.
I was recently listening to a podcast from a well known Christian leader who employed a beautiful thought in her teaching. She asserted that the way a refiner of metals knows if that metal has been purified is when he can see his own reflection in the metal. Of course, it was used as a way to deepen and illustrate the teaching of Malachi.
I was curious, so I did a little digging. I found a lovely little tale that says...
"As I 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, so as to burn away all the impurities.
"I 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.
"I was silent for a moment. Then I asked the silversmith, "How do you
know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at me and answered,
'Oh, that's easy... when I see my reflection in it.'"
As charming and delightful and beautiful as the idea is, it turns out to be myth.
But, it does get me thinking about it from the flipside. While the idea of the Maker seeing His reflection in me seems extraordinary and possibly slightly impossible, as human as I am...
I did wonder about the reflection we (and others) encounter of ourselves in the world, in our interaction with the world, in the being-ness within ourselves.
I love the image above. To me, she exhibits such childlike wonder and joy. Do we still have that and embody that? Are we able to come before the Father like little children?
And, on the other hand, when we observe the reflection of ourselves in the world, are we reflecting the light and love and joy and peace of the Savior?
Not one of us is perfect, so please do give yourself the grace and space to be who you are, just as you are, right where He meets you, should you choose to embark on this little journey. However, I do think it's an internal journey worth making.
Perhaps be willing to ask yourself, what do I reflect in and to the world?
And, if it was a fact that in refining metal the way the craftsman knows that metal is pure is to see their reflection, what would my Maker see as He is refining me?
Am I allowing Him to uproot in me anything that does not serve Him?
Am I choosing to embrace His refinement, to surrender to His purification?
Practices of surrender, of trust and obedience, are worthy journeys to make. Perhaps this little mental exercise, this internal inquiry, will help spark something new? Maybe take something to a new level in Your walk with the Father?
This is my hope and prayer each time I sit down at the computer or in front of a camera and pray my words would fall away and the purpose of the Father would reach through and serve you.
I pray you are well honored and well served as you make this journey, living out this life as the child of God you were created to be.
Whether through mythologies created by man or Divine Scripture, thank You for using all things to shape us and mould us. Thank You for refining us for Your purposes according to Your Will.
Thank You for helping us to be willing and eager as we endeavor to trust, obey, and surrender. And, thank You for helping us to be good at it. : )
These things we pray in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
"Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. 'Truly I tell you,' He said, 'unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven...'" ~ Matthew 18:2-4
"Surely the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His loving devotion..." ~ Psalm 33:18
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." ~ 1 Peter 1:6-9
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
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