“He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, that they may bring offerings to the LORD in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:3)
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 about 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 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 need 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 of God holding us in a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: “He will sit refining and purifying silver. . .”
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit 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 also had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left for 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.”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
- Sr. Mary Magdalene Loughrea (Submitted by Sr. Gemma Parisi)