[Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest 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 as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: '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 man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left 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 easy -- when I see my image in it.' If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.]
Today I have felt like I was in the fire...although somewhat of a self-made fire. This time of year is always so busy for me. I am in the middle of speaking, traveling and planning. My sleep and down time is always challenged. My caffeine consumption always seems to increase as well as my anxiety . But it is in these times that God is also refining me. As long as I stay in this ministry, the spring and the fall will be busy. So perhaps its not about the seasons but how I handle them. Do I plan accordingly to help offset the stress. Do I make a commitment to eat right and sleep right anyway? Do I put off what I can seriously put off. And do I not neglect sitting at my father's feet, the source of my strength during this "hot" time.
As a single adult leader or pastor, you may have times you just want to scream, give up or run away. It is during these times God is really molding us to be like Him. Remember, just like the silversmith, he is holding us while he is refining us and He never takes His eyes of off us.