Refiners Fire

You might have read or heard this before, (I have no idea of the validity of it, it is found in various places, and forms, on the web). If the hand of God is heavy upon your life I hope it will be an encouragement to you:

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.

Malachi 3:3

This verse puzzled a group in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of them offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that Yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’

He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’

Hard Up?


We are hard up. Money is in short supply, inflation is high in India, giving is way down, we need more.

At least I thought we were hard up.

Then I took time to look out of the window. As I pray early in the morning I see a steady stream of people walking from the village to the river – we live next to the river. There is a place about 40 metres from where I am sitting where people come to wash and to do their morning ablutions. Some carry buckets of water back to their home – many of which have a tin roof set on a structure of walls made of reeds. Others choose to strip, whilst trying to protect their modesty, and wash at the riverside. Later on in the day women will stand and wash the family clothes there.

I showered in a bathroom this morning, and when I come back sweating and smelly from teaching I will be able to take another without walking to the river or trying not to expose my nakedness. I won’t even have to pump water from the well, I simply turn a tap.

If the electricity supply is ok I might watch a little tv later, if it gets too hot I can even turn on the fan. If the internet connection works I will email some friends and maybe ‘skype’ with my family. We will have food on our table tonight, and we will rejoice that once again God has fed us.

We might not have enough money but we are not hard up.

We are blessed