Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver" (Malachi 3:3).
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 him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "Sir, do you sit while the work 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 refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
God sees it 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 lady asked one final question, "How do you know when the process is complete?"
"That's quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."
-Author Unknown. Cited http://www.greaterthings.com/Topical/silversmith.htm
We are now into the fifth week of Lent and I guess even with our best of intentions we have failed to keep our Lenten fast and sacrifices as planned- not all of course. But if we have failed or slipped backwards it is not too late to turn back to God and try again, especially as we approach Holy Week.
In the light of the about story, The Silversmith, we can imagine ourselves as the Silver piece. As we travel along the journey of life, with all its challenges, possibilities and opportunities, many of us are still in our raw human state and are still in need of some refining. Maybe our values, attitudes or behaviour are not in line with what is expected of a Christian or even a good person. Maybe some anxiety, sickness, unemployment, financial problems, family concern or just the process of getting older in life is pressing upon us, bringing the worst out of us and testing our faith. In the midst of all these, God is the Refiner and He has the loving desire necessary to turn us into the most beautiful piece of Silver imaginable. IF WE LET HIM, of course!
God has patience, and lots of it. He waits daily for us to return to Him as he does the Prodigal Son and the Elder Son too. (Luke’s Gospel)
We are invited to ask ourselves:
- What area of my life needs some refining? Changing? Conversion?
- What area of my life do I feel God is refining? What is He calling me to change so that I may see my life in His image and likeness?
- Take time to talk to God this week about your life and the areas that need some change so that you may have better quality of relationships, health and general well-being.
May God live in your heart.
Sr. Bernadette Duffy
Holy Cross Sisters