Saturday, January 24, 2009

Time To Be Refined

I'm back! Surprised to hear from me so soon??? :)

Well, I've only received a couple comments about the scene I posted last time so . . . don't know if it's that terrible and you just didn't want to hurt my feelings or if you are just too busy to post a comment. I'm going to assume it's the latter and pray I'm right!

I wanted to share this with you, though. I've been studying the Bible quite a bit lately. Initially my time in the Word was to help me find passages for The Heart's Journey Home, but discovered that I've found a great deal of comfort and strength in the words on those pages so the reason for my Bible time has shifted and so has the momentum on the book that I'm writing! Thursday I got down over 1800 words! It's just amazing what can happen when you get straight with the Lord!!! It's also amazing to me how much writing The Heart's Journey Home has brought me closer to the Lord. It has truly been a blessing to me and I hope it's just as much of a blessing to all of you when it is finally "born"!

So, as I was saying, I was studying the Bible and I came across Romans 5:3-5 which says, "And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing the tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance , character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." After I read that I thought to myself that whoever thinks the Bible doesn't relate to today's world, well, they haven't really read the Bible! Wow! Aren't we all facing tribulation is some way, shape, or form??? Financial (probably most common), illness, relationship issues, etc. Have you ever considered THANKING GOD for those tribulations? NO! Of course, not because they HURT! Why would we thank anybody for something that hurts???

I've read this story before. I'm sure you all have, too. Unfortunately the author is unknown so I don't know who to give the credit to. I'm sure all of the other websites that have used it (Just google "refining silver" and it comes up over and over) are as concerned as I am. :-/ Anyway . . .

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 silver was being refined. 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."

Today I AM thankful for hardships/tribulation/fire, whatever you want to call it. I AM thankful that the Lord holds me in the palm of His hands and helps me to persevere. I AM thankful for who I am becoming because of it, and I have hope that one day the Lord will see His image in me!

PRAYER REQUEST AND UPDATES: Please keep our little friend William Hickson and his mama and daddy in your prayers this week. This is a snippet from what his daddy, Stan, posted in their Caring Bridge journal: "(The surgeon) determined from the upper GI results that surgery needed to be done again to repair his original surgery. William's surgery is scheduled for January 27th. The surgeon indicated that the surgery may be more involved this time due to scar tissue and will probably take 3 hours . . . Please keep our family in your prayers on the 27th. We'll keep you updated on his progress." The Hickson's are a beautiful family. Although I'm sure they have their moments, their unwavering faith through all that little William has gone through, is inspiring to say the least! Please pray for William on the 27th and on the days leading up to the 27th. Pray for his doctors, that they will know exactly what to do to help little William. And pray for Stan and Alice-Lyle that they will be comforted and experience a peace that can only come from the Lord.

I also need you to pray for a baby named Diesel. I am getting more information on him and will post it as soon as I get it, but Diesel was born with tumors on his spine and brain. He is at St. Jude's Children Research Hospital receiving the very best of care. Please pray for miraculous and permanent healing for baby Diesel. Pray for his doctors, that they know exactly what to do to get rid of those nasty tumors and heal his little body. Pray for Diesel's mama and daddy, that they will be wrapped in a soft, fuzzy blanket of comfort and have peace showered on them like a gentle, steady rain from Heaven above. As I said, I'm acquiring Diesel's story and I will share it with you as soon as I have it, but in the meantime, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!

Always remember, if you or someone you know has a prayer concern (even if it is unspoken - God knows all of our needs after all) please email me personally through my profile and I will be more than happy to post it. There IS power in prayer! There really, really is!

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