Refiner's Fire

My wife Ann is in the hospital again with another MS relapse (third time in as many months) and life has been difficult for us both. I got the following from a friend in an email message this morning and it encouraged me, so I thought that I'd pass it on.

Malachi 3:3 says:
"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
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 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 her curiosity about 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 needed 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 about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:
"He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."
She 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

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."

Sometimes in the heat of the fire it is difficult to remember that God is present attending the process and controlling the heat. My prayer for you, for Ann and for me is that we would see life, and in particular these fiery times, with an eye for redemption ... knowing that He sometimes uses fire to make us like Jesus.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that Ann is in the hospital again, Bob. I'll keep you and her in my thoughts.


  2. I'm sorry to hear of her hospitalization. I can imagine your worry and sadness.

    Jesus brings His Cross to us, to let us carry it with Him, to follow Him. God strengthen you both in your perseverance in this trial.

    I'll add you to my prayers and petitions today.

  3. I'll pray for Ann - and for you. Thank you for your posting today. Several of my friends are going through some fires right now - divorce, illness, etc. - and I know this will be a comfort to them. God bless.

  4. I'm praying for you both

  5. I'm heading back into a prayer meeting here at work and I am going to request prayer for Ann and you.

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  7. I will pray for you guys , I'm so sorry Bob , Stay strong .

  8. I will pray for Ann and you. His grace is sufficient for you.

  9. Kansas Bob,
    Excellent post.
    I have learned that fire is very difficult but I have also learned that if we don't learn the lesson God is trying to teach us he will put us back in again until we have learn the lesson we are to learn. It makes us that much more stronger in our relationship and faith.
    I hope you have a blessed week brother.

  10. I will be keeping Ann in my prayers. If you need anything let me know. I am here for you.

  11. Thanks everyone for praying. Ann is still experience paralysis in her legs but I hope that she will rebound back soon.


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