Hello, Again Writers,
If you read part 1 of this post, you know our theme for our 25th year lines up with it being our 25th (aka silver) anniversary. That theme is “Refined Like Silver.” Jean Hall, our new conference coordinator for 2021, continues her two-part post on this theme. If you haven’t done so, read the first post at this link: Part I
REFINED LIKE SILVER—Part II
By Jean Matthew Hall
Psalm 66:10 “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.”
In ancient days, refining noble metals (silver and gold) primarily used heat. Metals were put into unbelievable temperatures maintained for however long was required. Raw materials containing a mixture of metals, rocks, and soil were smashed into small bits and placed in a crucible—a bowl worthy to withstand the heat of the furnace. Then those impure metals were subjected to intense heat until they melted to white hot. Only then could the impure metals rise to the top of the crucible. The metallurgist then scraped the unwanted metals off and discarded them, thus exposing more unwanted metals to new oxygen causing it to purify further. Even higher temperatures eventually vaporized the impurities. The metallurgist then blew them away with bellows, or his own breath. He watched and waited until that perfect moment. He never left the silver unattended because it could have reached the perfect temperature and condition at any time. To miss that time would have meant destroying the silver instead of purifying it. Immediately, the artist removed the crucible from the heat and set it aside to cool.
The silver sank to the deepest part of the crucible as it slowly cooled. Then the artist poured any remaining liquid away. What remained was a coin-shaped piece of refined silver.
But the process wasn’t over. If the artist wanted the finest silver, he subjected it again and again to the same process until nothing impure remained.
Imagine, with me, for a moment. God is squatting near a stone oven and holding a crucible in long tongs. Watch Him push the crucible into the oven, glowing red hot. See Him watching the oven as it glows white. He’s peeking into a hole in the top of the oven. He’s looking at that metal to see its progress. Notice God never walks away. He never leaves the oven, the crucible or the silver until that perfect moment. Until it shines back at Him so He can see His own reflection. Until it is fit for Him to hammer or mold it into a tool or a piece of beauty for His use. God’s staying nearby and being vigilant is crucial to the process.
God hasn’t left our sides either.
Whether we are in the fires of 2020, or any crucible in our lives, God is with us. As Christian writers, we can only write words of beauty, of inspiration, of hope, education or information that God has refined in our lives. To try to teach or demonstrate truths we have not yet assimilated would result in failure and hypocrisy, in my opinion.
The Lord tries us, refines us as precious metals, so that in times of refinement for others we may stand nearby and give comfort and assurance that God has already given to us.
If we seek to be God’s writers and authors, we must surrender to His furnace. To being refined like silver for His good purposes.
KCWC Planning Committee Coordinator, Jean Matthew Hall, lives in LaGrange, Kentucky. Her first picture book God’s Blessings of Fall was released by Little Lamb Books in September 2019. Three more books in the Bountiful Blessings series are coming. When not enjoying time with family (eight gorgeous grandkids) and church, Jean is immersed in children’s picture books—reading and studying them, reviewing them, writing them. Jean is a member of the SCBWI, Word Weavers International, Write2Ignite and the Kentucky Christian Writers.
Learn more about Jean:
Website and blog www.jeanmatthewhall.com