Our country is dealing with a long, drawn-out, heat wave. The western states are fighting massive wildfires that have destroyed homes, forests, and even claimed lives.
Illinois has had little rain in over a month and the temperatures have been in the 90s and 100s for weeks. It would seem no end is in sight. We can only hope and pray for rain and use the hose to water the gardens to keep it from wilting.
But lest we think heat is all bad, we have to remember it has a purpose. Heat is part of the “recipe” for wind, heat is needed to keep the Earth at the correct temperature for all of life to be sustained. Forest fires create the necessary heat for certain pinecone species to open up and release the seed inside and thereby replant the forest.
When heat is applied to metals it removes the impurities and leaves the silversmith or goldsmith with the pure materials needed to make jewelry.
Heat applied to my faith allows me to see what I really have inside. Just as the heat applied to the metals brings out the impurities, heat applied to me brings out the impurities inside. Even if I try to hind the ugly stuff and keep others from seeing it, God sees it. Since I am to be made into His Son’s image I need to have the junk removed.
Isaiah 48:10 says, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.” So any difficulties I face can be seen as an opportunity to let God clean out some more what must be removed.
If I am sincere about my desire to follow hard after Jesus, choosing Him, even when it is difficult, then I will also have to allow Him to cleanse me of the junk.
Zechariah 13:9 says, “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
My favorite part of the silversmith working to remove the impurities is that when the metal is pure the silversmith will see his reflection. So, when God is done working with me He will see His image in me.
The Refiner’s Fire ~~ Steve Green
There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will
The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my souls desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire
I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive