Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit

Monday, June 13, 2011

Refiner's Fire

Have you ever wondered how a piece of silver is made from a metal taken from the earth?

The person who works with the metals is called a refiner. In olden days they would be outside under the clear blue sky. The Refiner would take in his hands the lump of ore, watching it as the sun brightly shines on the streaks and veins of the lead and other minerals that run through this piece of rock that has been chiseled from the bowels of the earth. With the experienced eye he knows that there is silver intertwined with this ore.

He then lays the ore on his work table, while he builds his fire with care. Soon the fire is blazing in the pit. At the work table he picks up his hammer, and begins crushing the lump into smaller pieces. Pausing occasionally to stare at the fire, from time to time he places more fuel upon the already blazing coal’s, and works until the flames are in frenzy.
When the fire is just right, then he will gather the hammered bits of ore from their place of crushing, and lays them in a sturdy container of tempered pottery - the crucible as it is called.

He places the crucible in the fire and sits down beside it. A long day is before the refiner, as he will stay far as long as the metal is subject to the flames. Just as our Heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us.

"That no temptation or trial or testing has overtaken us but such is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Silver is too precious to be forsaken in the furnace, too valuable to be ruined through inattention, or negligence. Carefully he watches the fire, for it must be maintained at exactly the right temperature for the right duration of time to accomplish its purpose.

Slowly the ore is softened; the silver with its greater density and lower melting point liquefies first, making hissing and bubbling sounds as oxygen is released. The solid impurities rise to the top of the molten metal. This is the dross or the waste matter, which the refiner skims off.

After the dross has been skimmed off, the refiner will add a little bit of charcoal inside the crucible. The Refiner knows that this charcoal will enhance the sheen, the brightness of silver. The carbon of the charcoal will also keep the refined metal from reabsorbing oxygen from the air, which would only dull its finish.

The Refiner is constantly tending the fire, adding more fuel as needed, and applies more air from the bellows as needed, nothing gets past the refiner. Among the restless, 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 at the top of the crucible. As the Refiner gazes down upon the molten surface, the Refiner sees at best a dim reflection of Himself. The Refiner works, watches and waits, as the heat and its efforts continue. More impurities rise to the surface and again the refiner skims them off.

The Refiner never steps away from the crucible, he never leaves it unattended, and he never steps away from the fire which he 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.

He lets the fire cool; eventually he will set the crucible aside. Then once again the Refiner will build up the fire, and the process will begin all over. This time the refiner makes the fire even hotter. Within the crucible, new impurities are released, brought to the surface, exposed for what they really are, and then skimmed off.

Finally, the Refiner 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. Several more hours pass, he perseveres in his anxiousness and delicate work, once more bending over the crucible, this time, catching his breath. This is it!!

In the silver he sees what he has waited so patiently waited for: a clear image of Himself, distinct and sharp. Delight lights up His face. His task is done. The impurities are gone and the silver is refined. He has His treasure. He has choice silver, the most lustrous of all the metals. Silver is beautiful and highly valued.

The Refiner has taken what was impure and made it pure. He has taken what was dull and made it beautiful. Potential value has become actual value. The fire, guarded, guided, restless, relentless fire made the difference. The fire allowed ordinary ore from the earth to be transformed into treasure. All was done under the watchful eyes for Refiner, and all was never unattended.

We should find our joy from the fact that the Refiner is right their controlling the flames. A controlled fire, it is not a purposeless fire, and it is not out to destroy us, but to purify us!! We should not focus on the flames, or the fuels, those things that seem to make it even more unbearable for us.

It is when we keep our eyes on the situation and not God that we want out of the situation, not wanting to even be there at all. It is when we keep our eyes on the Refiner, who never leaves His silver and the crucible unattended; that we can endure because we trust Him, no matter what.

We should be able to look back at the tragedies, situations in our lives and say, God you used this to make me more like Jesus. We should be able to walk in meekness with submission to God, knowing that He used all our disappointments and will use future ones to make us more like Jesus. When the pain is at the deepest and sharpest, engulfing the world around us and infiltrating our own hearts and lives, it becomes a testing and proving ground for the Sovereignty of God. We must realize that He is in control, and that He is Sovereign.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Do you notice the hidden gems that come your way?

We are here but for a short time.

Fresh winds are blowing, and the great road of faith ever runs before us winding this way and that.

There may seem like many interruptions or obstacles that are set before us, but in reality are opportunities.

They are brilliant gems prepared in advance for such a time as this, by the God who loves to surprise us in and with buried treasure.

Question is what will we do with those gems?

Will we even notice that it is a buried treasure underneath?

Or will we pass it right by not even second glancing?