Monday, April 16, 2012

Purging the Dross

A repeat arsonist set 21 fires in the local area during late January and early February. It was difficult traveling to work and seeing the smoldering, blackened land. It smelled like a giant campfire had been burning. I began to wonder what had happened in that person’s life to cause them to want to destroy such an area, as this was the second year in a row this had happened.

Now in April those areas of arson are alive with growth and green. Those charred areas look even better than the other surrounding areas that were untouched by fire. The difference is striking.

Living in the southwest, wildfires are a very real and present danger. I recall one run-away controlled burn on our mountain that got out of hand. During the darkness of night it was surreal. The fire appeared to be in a canyon and glowed with an ominous and foreboding doom. It looked like an evil dragon’s lair.

Large fires create their own weather challenges by producing their own winds and strength. They are dangerous and unpredictable. Many have lost their homes. Some have lost their lives in such fires.

Have you every felt the heat in your life when the fire of God is attempting to purge something from you? I have. It hasn’t been pleasant either. Comparatively, it is similar to the Bureau of Land Management setting a Controlled Burn however, in an instance like this it is God who is in control.

I recall an email that was being circulated years ago that went like this:

Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures and make them the subject of conversation. 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."

One lady's opinion was that it was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.

"But Sir," she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes madam, "replied the silversmith, "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be 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."

Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace. His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back and said he had still further to mention that he only knows when the process of purifying is complete and that is by seeing his own image reflected in the silver.   
~ Author Unknown

Isn’t this a beautiful example? When Christ shall see His own image in His people, His work of purifying will be accomplished.

…and so I pray
Abba, Father - thank You for loving me enough to purge the dross of my life. May I reflect your image to those with whom I come into contact with. In Jesus’ name ~Amen!
When, my friends have you felt the fires of affliction in your life?

Like me, do you argue with God about it or are you more compliant and allow the dross to be purged from your life?

…until next time,


Isaiah 48:10

New King James Version
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.