The Refiner and His Fire

Posted on Posted in Grace

Come with me as we take a journey back to a Judean village in ancient days.

Inside a small, walled courtyard under a bright blue sky, there stands a refiner of metal. In His hands he’s rolling and fingering a lump of ore. He watches the sun play on the streaks and veins of lead and other minerals running through this bit of rock chiseled from the bowels of the earth.

His experienced eye knows that, intermingled within this ore, there is silver.

He lays the ore on his worktable then builds his fire with care and the wisdom of years. Soon the flames are rising in the pit situated against the courtyard’s stone wall.

At the worktable he picks up his hammer and begins crushing the lump into smaller pieces.

He pauses occasionally to stare at the fire, as if in study. From time to time he places more fuel upon the already blazing coals and works his bellows until the flames are in a frenzy.

When the fire is right, he gathers the hammered bits of ore from the place of their crushing and lays them in a small, sturdy container of tempered pottery, his crucible.

He places the crucible in the fire and sits down beside it. A long day is before him, and this is where he will stay for as long as the metal is subject to the flames. Silver is too precious to be forsaken in the furnace, too valuable to be ruined through inattention.

Carefully he watches the fire. It must be maintained at exactly the right temperature for the right duration of time to accomplish its purpose. Slowly the ore softens. The silver, with its greater density and lower melting point, liquefies first, hissing and bubbling as oxygen is released. The still solid impurities rise to the top of the molten metal. This is the dross and the refiner skims it off.

Now he adds bits of charcoal inside the crucible. He knows this will enhance the sheen of the silver. The carbon of the charcoal will keep the refined metal from reabsorbing oxygen from the air, which would only dull its finish.

He tends the fire, adds more fuel, and applies more air from the bellows.

Amid the relentless heat surrounding the crucible, more dull impurities, newly revealed, rise to the surface of the mixture.

Again the refiner carefully skims away the murky, smudgy metal floating to the top of the crucible. Gazing down upon the molten surface, the refiner sees at best but a dim reflection of himself.

The refiner works and watches and waits. The heat and its effect continue. More impurities rise to the surface, and again he skims them off.

He never leaves the crucible unattended, never steps away from the fire he has formed to do his work. The finished product he cherishes demands this process. Only his guided and guarded refinement will yield the promised and precious metal. And he is not yet satisfied. He lets the fire cool. Eventually he sets the crucible aside.

Then once again he builds up the fire, and the process begins all over. This time the skilled refiner makes the fire hotter. Within the crucible, new impurities are released, brought to the surface, exposed for what they are, and then skimmed off.

Finally his leathery face breaks into a smile, for now as he gazes into the liquid silver his reflection is apparent, not yet sharp, but more distinct than before.

More hours pass as he perseveres in his anxious and delicate work.

And then, once more he bends over the crucible, and this time he catches his breath. There it is! In the silver he sees what he has been waiting for so patiently: a clear image of himself, distinct and sharp. His task is done. The impurities are gone. The silver is refined. He has his treasure. He has “choice” silver, the most lustrous of all metals, beautiful and highly valued.

The refiner has taken what was impure and made it pure. He had taken what was dull and made it beautiful.

And the fire – the guarded, relentless fire – made the difference. The fire allowed ordinary ore from the earth to be transformed into treasure.

All under the refiner’s watchful care, for all the while he never left it unattended.

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:10-12)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

If we are to have the power of God in our lives, we must allow God to purify our lives. In this purification process God will be with you always, never leaving you for one moment.

In your healing you will feel like you are going through the fire and you are because that is the place where God can refine you and make you the person He wants you to be. As you go through this healing process you are not alone. God is with you no matter if you can feel Him of not He is there. Recovery is a process, it does not have an ending. You will be recovering the rest of your life. When you feel that you have made it. That is when you are in trouble.

There is a dark place hidden deep inside all of our souls. It lays in wait, lurking there, lingering until the right moment in a person’s life to show itself. It remains concealed never letting you know, buried deep and out of sight. Taking root and keeping itself secret from you. When it does finally come out, it lays waste and wreaks havoc, destroying any peace and comfort, any happiness and joy that you have as it breaks out in the most significant of ways.

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

There are things wrong with my life, just like there are things wrong with everyone’s life, but I had never learned how to actually cope with that reality. I had never learned what was causing these problems. I was just letting them control my life. Once I learned about these problems and faced the reality that they did exist, I was able to move forward with God and live the abundant life that God wants all of His children to live.

In this book we are going to address some of the issues that we need to be healed from. As we look at these issues, you may not have these issues in your life, but you do suffer for some of these issues. As we study these issues allow God to bring you to the reality that you do suffer from some deep seated issue in your life that is stealing your joy and peace. Making life not only miserable for you but the ones you love.

Allow God to look into the deep places in your life and heal your spirit!

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