|“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”|
Eliza Doolittle—the poor flower seller with a Cockney accent, a mere “guttersnipe”—wanted so much to belong to the respectable middle class. She had the good fortune to seeing her dream realized after learning the proper pronunciation of words from a slightly arrogant phonetics professor, Dr. Henry Higgins. His pains to teach her proper English climaxed in her learning to say, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”
Most people recognize this brief synopsis of the story of the musical, My Fair Lady, and would say that Eliza Doolittle had indeed become “refined.” A dictionary would identify a refined person as “one free from imperfections and vulgarity; one improved by pruning or polishing; one reduced to a pure state.”
In several passages of Scripture, we read that God intends to purify and refine His people like silver. Silver only becomes precious after it has been refined in a fiery furnace. How does God intend to refine us? We read in Isaiah 48:10:
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
Refining takes time, and patience, and affliction. We do not become godly vessels, refined, pure and strong, until we allow God to put us through the “furnace of affliction.” Not only does the fire purify by burning away the impurities of sin, but it allows Him to bend us and fashion us into the objects of His love—objects that He wishes to use for His purposes.
If you are going through affliction, know that God will not waste these experiences. He intends you to become a “fair lady”: genteel, noble, strong, and shining for His glory. Yield yourself to your loving Silversmith. He will bring you forth from the fire transformed into a beautiful work of His design!