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kept in His hands
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There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying Chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

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

That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver 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 so as to burn away all the impurities. The woman then thought about the comparison of 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 there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The silversmith answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on it the entire time it was in the fire. This is because if the silver were left even 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 the easy part -- when I see my image reflected in it."

So remember, when you are feeling the heat of the refiner's fire, that God has His eyes on you and will keep watch over you until He sees His image in you.

It's an act of perfection.


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