Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pursuing Him Still

As we quickly approach the end of another year I quietly reflect on the last 12 months. I take a survey of where I started and where I am today. I look for only one thing found in a single question…

Is there less of me and more of Him?

The answer is yes. And I am so grateful for that. Do I wish I was further along? Yes. As long as there is sin in my life I will wish there wasn’t. But I accept that I am a work in progress. A flesh to be reckoned with.

You may have heard this story about the silversmith, but it so wonderfully explains what God is up to that I had to share…

Some people studying Malachi 3:3 which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

This verse puzzled some in the 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 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.”

I love this story. The idea that God is at work, refining me by the fire and never leaving my side until He clearly sees himself in me is so mysterious and wonderful. I marvel at His awesome love for His creation.

Last year at this time I wrote on Philippians 3:14…

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

And a year later that scripture continues to express my hopes for the new year. I am not big on a list of New Year’s resolutions. Oh, I could make a list…

take better care of myself,

be a better homeschool mom,

a better wife,

a better manager of my time

But, those things mean nothing because they are what I want for myself and if I am just set on pursuing hard after Him all that He has for me, and likely some of those things on my list, will come to fruition anyway.

So, I welcome the fire. The refinement. The love that He has for me as I pursue Him still.

How about you? What has God put on your heart for the new year ahead?


  1. Wow this is so good, God is molding and refining us so we have more of Him and less of us. I want even more of Him in 2011 and will do whatever it takes to get more. Thank you for this beautiful post!

  2. Some wonderful thoughts, Heidi! You're so right; when your heart yearns for refinement, for more of the Lord and less of ourselves, then all the other items on the "resolutions" list will happen naturally.
    God bless you and your family, and I wish you every success in 2011!

  3. I love that analogy...He is refining into His image! For the coming year, I want to pursue Him more...know Him deeper...love Him beyond anything else. I want to trust Him completely and leave my doubts and fears at His feet...

  4. "So, I welcome the fire. The refinement." Isn't it so awesome we serve a God who is so patient with us? He continues to refine, pick, poke, and prode until He sees the image of Jesus looking back at Him--Jesus in us. Even though the refining process is difficult, its necessary to mold us into His image. I need to remember that this year.;)

  5. I love that story! I want God to fully refine me so when people look at me they see God. Amen!
    Thanks for sharing this. Many blessings!

  6. Yep, a work in progress! I needed this. Thank you :)

  7. Great post...and yes, I love that story. As much as we would like it to NOT be so, often our greatest challenges and trials are the very things we need to propel us toward our destiny, refining our character and painfully removing impurities that would hinder our relationship with God. I think I go through the refiners fire at least twice a year! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Great word Heide and reminder for us all.

    Great pictures too.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Happy New Year♥

  9. Nice one for Word-filled Wednesday...

  10. Heidi,
    Good post. What has God put on my heart for 2011? More study, writing, teaching, mentoring.

    Linked here from Shelly's "Is That You Lord" to tell you I liked your comment.

    Happy New Year.

    Family Fountain

  11. I love the story of a silversmith! Packs a powerful reminder of God's purpose for us. Love your new year thoughts, great encouragement to begin a new year with More of Him! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Awesome post! I really like the story about the refiner - a great reminder that when we're in the midst of the fire we're still not alone. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He makes sure that we're not destroyed. Happy New Year.

  13. Blessings Heidi...thank you for the confirmation and letting me know that you saw photos on my WFW! I was going to email you but there was not one connected. I'm so glad that I noticed the URL of your shared blog... anyways...

    I love this story of being refined. Each time I read it I am reminded that all that I face is only because HE is refining me and will use it for "good", purifying me of all the junk (as I sit here munching on Fritos and a DP)!
    I guess just spiritually.

    Your message was a wonderful end of the year and beginning of a new. I am planning on BREAKING FREE. May each of us decrease as we increase in HIM in 2011! Thank you for a powerful push in that direction! May we press on... in Christ...


  14. I loved the silversmith story! What a wonderful narrative to describe our relationship with Him. Thank you so much for sharing this, and have a Blessed Day!

  15. What an encouragement this was to me today! I have been thinking along these lines...still working on conclusions!

  16. Recently, God taught me that i still need work in the loving others department. That's what I am going to work on in 2011. Listening more.

  17. A work in progress is what I am. For 2011 I want to go deeper with GOD and take my family on the journey with me.