God: The Refiner and Purifier of Silver

6:22:00 PM

We experience different problems, struggles and challenges. I believe that no one is immune to trials in life. Whatever your status in life is, whether are you are the poorest of the poor or the wealthiest person in this world, I bet you still have your own problems. It might be because of an unanswered prayer, loss of loved ones, demotion in work, broken relationships, poverty, sickness and what have you. We all have problems but what's different among us is how we react and respond to these problems? Are we easily overwhelmed? Do we easily give up? Do we blame other people? Do we question God that despite His sovereignty and being in control, why did He allow such horrible things to happen to us?

I have my own problems, struggles and setbacks in life. And we all know that when we are experiencing these things, it's hard to appreciate and understand why a good God allows such things to happen. One particular example, way back college in UP Diliman, when I was second year I suffered from generalized anxiety and panic attacks. I feel that any moment I will just die. One night, I was watching anime and suddenly I felt dizzy, my heart rate was so fast that I can already feel my heart pumping and I felt that at any moment, I will just faint. I was rushed to the infirmary of UP Diliman and they immediately put oxygen support, checked my BP (soared to 160/100) and they did ECG (the result was like a drawing of a toddler and I know that time that it was not good). To make the long story short, they performed a lot of laboratory tests but they did not find any problem in my health except thatthe cardiologist saw a small leak in my mitral valve but not significant to cause harm in my life.

I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for almost a year and it has taken its toll on me. I came to a point in my life that I no longer want to go to school because I feel that any moment I will die. I came to a point that I questioned the Lord why He allowed those things to happen to me. "Why now Lord when I already have a deeper relationship with you?" After several months of praying, talking to the Lord and seeking comfort from His Word, the Lord answered all of my questions. I have experienced the love, comfort, care and fatherhood of Jesus during that most vulnerable and darkest part of my life.

I have several lessons from that experience that I want to share to you. Let met quote this paragraph from a book called Do Less, Be More: "Values often come into sharp focus in times of stress. Difficult times don't just display our values; they distill them into their very essence. So if you want to be really clear on what matters, just introduce some serious stress and then watch what happens". When I was about to conquer the frequent anxiety and panic attacks, I realized that God is teaching me to submit my life fully to Him and trust Him without reservations. I realized that I have a Father in heaven who holds the whole world at the palm of His hands, why can't I trust him with my life? I also realized how important my relationship in Jesus is. Do I just praise and glorify Him in times of triumph and victory? Or can I confidently say that even through dark and bad times, I will still trust and obey him? The Lord taught me how to trust in Him as my Father in heaven. I realized that my earthly Father (Tatay Rodel), who is sinful and imperfect as we all do, does good things and makes sure I am in good condition all the time. What more God, who is perfect and is the God of love, will He not also do things that in the end will bring good into my life?

During that experience, I marveled at this particular verse in Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Maybe the reason why you can't still appreciate the beauty of your life, you dont know the reasons why God allowed several challenges to come to your life, maybe the reason why you feel your life is a total mess is that God is not yet finished with His wonderful masterpiece, that is your life. I mean, it's like that in painting. When a paintor paints, you don't immediately see the beauty of his painting, he has to do priming, color mixing and then outline the painting and finally do his finishing touches. Only when he is finished can we fully appreciate his word. But during the process of painting, it's messy, there are a lot of spilled paints and sweats, the painting paraphernalia are scattered all around the painting room. 

Lastly let me share the story behind this beautiful verse, Malachi 3:3a, "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". There was this woman who had a Bible study on the book of Malachi and one session, they talked about Malachi 3:3 that God will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. After the Bible study she went to see a silversmith and ask about the process of purifying silver. The silversmith showed her the process, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it burn up. He explained that it is important to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the temperature is hottest in order to remove all the impurities of the silver. The silversmith never put his eyes away from the silver because it might be destroyed once it was put in the flames for longer time. And when the silversmith can see his reflection on the silver, it means that the silver is refined and pure. God is like that in our lives, in order to purify us, He has to hold us over the flames to purify us. If you experience a lot of struggles right now and feel the buring heat of the fire, remember tha God will not take his eyes off from you. He will hold you and make sure that the heat and the time you are in heat are correct. And He will wait for the time when He can already see His reflections on you.


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