We used to sing this song in our worship services years ago called “Refiner’s Fire”. I loved how beautiful and simple it was. And one day, after ending the worship portion of the service with that song, the pastor got up and said, “I’m always very hesitant to sing that song because I want to make sure that I mean what it is I’m saying.” I never realized how challenging those words were and it made me be more aware of the words I sing in other songs. I want to make sure I mean what I’m singing.
I never really knew exactly what the Refiner’s Fire was until Evangelist John Bevere came to our church and spoke on it. Essentially, how they purify gold or silver is to boil it until the impurities rise to the top, and the refiner can skim those impurities away. He also said that these impurities are exactly that, impure. They are nasty and disgusting. That is essentially what God does with us. He turns up the heat so those impurities rise to the top, so that He can come with His gentle hand and “skim” those impurities away. Those impurities are parts of ourselves that are ugly and gross to look at. And God has to bring those things to the surface in order to flesh them out.
I’ve written in the past month about some of the struggles I’ve been facing lately. My life has been fairly uncomfortable the past 8+ months, and especially six months. And anytime I find myself dealing with issues that I could’ve sworn I had dealt with previously and am surprised to see re-surface, God reminds me of the refiner’s fire. I imagine these impurities rising up to the surface. These ugly and nasty things that I dislike in myself have risen to the top. I can either push them back down or let the Lord “cleanse me from my sin, deep within.”
Whatever the analogy for it is, pruned or refined – it stinkin’ hurts. I struggle to find the good within myself under the mire of yuck. But, if I look very hard, I see my good in this world when I see the way my husband looks at me, or the way my son’s world lights up when I walk into a room, or the person that comes to me in tears because they believe me to a person they can trust because I’ve earned that spot in their heart.
I can look at my reflection and see all of the ugliness and those traits that cause me shame. I know that all of that is there and I know that God has so much to perfect within me. But, thank God for His grace that will always reflect back what He sees in me as well.
We always encourage each other to see each other through God’s eyes. My encouragement to you today is to endeavor to see yourself through God’s eyes. And I will try to do the same thing. I am, after all, my own worst critic. Trust me, there’s nothing anyone can say about me that I haven’t said to myself. However, I’m working hard on letting God be my advocate. Even if He’s advocating for me… to me.