"In the late 1800's, a group of women enrolled in a Bible study came across Malachi 3:3, "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Since no one understood the verse, they commissioned one of their members to explore the process of refining silver and report back to them at their next study. The woman called a silversmith, making an appointment to watch him work and ask a few questions.
On the appointed day, she saw him hold a piece of silver over the fire, letting it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, a silversmith needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest, so that all impurities would burn away. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled. "Oh, that's easy. The refining process is complete when I see my image in it."
Isn't that a powerful thought? Even while in the midst of life's hottest flames, I'm never alone. Not only is God watching over me through every moment of the struggle, but He purposely placed me there so that in the end, I will reflect Him. And what's more, He doesn't keep me in that fire a moment longer than need be, instead, he pulls me out at the perfect time when I am perfectly refined.
Lord, refine me as silver, try me as gold, help me to be the image of You.