Gold in its purest form is extremely valuable and beautiful, but in its natural form it contains a variety of impurities. Ore is actually the source of gold; It is a naturally occurring solid material from which a precious mineral or priceless mineral can be extracted. Ore is mined from the Earth’s crust with great effort, expense and risk.
Once the ore is collected it must be washed to remove large rock particles. Then it is crushed into powder, a fine dust, at the grinding mill. The powder is put into a vessel and placed into a furnace heated to almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Through intense heat the impurities rise and separate into a layer on the surface. The refiner skims the impurities off the top. The molten gold is placed back into the high temperature oven to endure more heat. The remaining contaminants surface to the top to again be scraped off by the goldsmith. This process continues. Why? Because the more this process is repeated, the purer the gold becomes. How do you know when the process is complete and the gold is pure, without blemish? When the goldsmith can see their reflection in it.
Likewise, the Lord pursues us like a miner on a mission, digging deep into the Earth’s crust. God sees us as valuable, precious and priceless.
As beloved children of God, we also go through a refining process. Coming from dust as Ecclesiastes 3:20 illustrates is similar to the smashed ore. We are placed into the heat of life’s pressures, circumstances and challenges symbolizing the heat of the oven. The fiery furnace is not meant to bring harm or destruction but is necessary to grow in faith as James 1:2-4 explains. God continues to sanctify us and remove impurities so that our faith can be pure and without blemish. As it is written in Isaiah 1:25,”I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities.”
God is the ultimate Refiner of our faith. He continues to sanctify us and remove impurities so that we, like finished gold, can reflect His image. Relationships are a tool that God uses in the refinement process in order to develop a pure faith in us that is even more precious than pure 24K gold.
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trial, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7
You, my sister, are a treasure! Worth more than any expensive diamond, exquisite trinket or rare jewel.