In the 1800s, a group of women met to study the Bible in Dublin. They were puzzled by the words of Malachi 3:3, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One of the ladies promised to call on 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.” said she, “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 is sure to be injured.”
At once she 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 the furnace, but He is seated by the side of it. His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for His children. Their trials do not come at random.
As the lady was leaving the shop the silversmith called her back and said he had still further to mention that he only knew when the process of purifying was complete by seeing his own image reflected in the silver. When Christ’s image is reflected in us His work of purifying is accomplished.