Laguna Beach is host to an annual Festival of the Arts, a summer long fête of residential artists. The festival is in two parts: one features mostly fine art, the other is more craft oriented. Here there are booths full of wonderful paintings, sculptures, painted clothing, and, of course, hand crafted jewelry. If you have any money, it is hard to keep it in your pocket.
Some of the artists practice their craft in front of you like the glass blower, and at one particular open area on the grounds, a silversmith. Here you can watch as the silversmith holds a piece of silver over the fire and lets it heat up. He explains that in refining silver, one needs to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flame is hottest to burn away all the impurities.
Ouch, I thought, as I remembered something in the scriptures where God is like a refiner of silver and gold. I imagine God holding me over His hot spot.
The silversmith goes on to explain that he has to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver is being refined. He not only has to sit there holding the silver, but he has to keep his eyes on the molten metal the entire time it is over the flame. If the silver is left a moment too long in the heat, it will be destroyed.
Then I ask the silversmith how he knows when the silver is fully refined. He smiles and answers, “That’s easy … when I see my image in it.”
Looks like I can expect some continued heat in my life until God can see His image in me.
It is hard to conclude this experience without stating the obvious, which I hope may be an encouragement to you today. If you’re feeling the heat, it’s only because He’s got his eye on you, and when He is done, you will look like Him.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3).
Be sure and check out our 12-part series on “Our New Relationship with God” — we’re already in week number four.