by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to see and understand the compelling image I’m going to paint for you:
The silversmith wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his calloused hand. The flames leaped in the bowels of the furnace, licking the air for oxygen, preparing to devour anything not pure enough to withstand its sweltering fury.
Carefully, the old gentleman filled his stone “smithing” bowl with slivers and filings of discarded silver – throwaways deliberately chosen for the vessel he would craft. He placed them “just so” into the bowl and then eased it into the center of the flames where the heat was greatest.
This was necessary to burn away anything impure.
Only the finest silver would do for the vessel the Master silversmith would shape after the refining fire.
The old man reached for his chair. His fingers, black with soot, grasped the chair’s carved back and pulled it closer to the furnace. He sat down, never taking his eyes off the silver that was now beginning to melt and swirl in the inferno.
The silversmith knew the exact moment to remove the silver – a second too long, and it would be destroyed. He kept a careful eye – watching, waiting – looking for that moment when the impurities were gone.
At last, the dross pulled away from the silver. The silversmith eased the stone bowl out of the flames. He peered into the liquid luster. Reflected back to him, as in a mirror, was his own image.
The old gentleman knew the refining fire had completed its work.
The silver was pure. It shone with the brightness of the morning star. It reflected it’s Master’s image. Now the vessel for which it was intended could be shaped and molded by the Master’s hand.
Are you in the throes of suffering now? Is the anguish of your heart threatening to suffocate you? The Master knows. He keeps a careful watch over you, governing the trial and adjusting the flame so you won’t be eternally marred or destroyed by its pain.
The Lord is honored by your willingness to endure this trial by fire for the sake of His Kingdom.
His eyes are on you.
His eyes are on me.
I find great comfort in that knowledge.
And, because David and I have suffered on behalf of the gospel, God’s Kingdom on earth has been advanced. That also comforts me. You, my friend, can say the same. We’re bonded to Christ because we’ve suffered for Him.
Could there be any greater honor on earth than to be used by God to bring the saving knowledge of Jesus – the extraordinary love of God – to a broken soul?
I think not.