I used to work for a jeweler and one of my favorite things was to watch through the glass as the jeweler pounded and twisted the metal into shape. If it wasn’t pliable enough, he would heat it until it shined a burning hot, glowing mass of gold or silver. When he was finally done with his masterpiece – after twisting, turning, pounding, shaping, more heating - he would place a jewel among carefully crafted prongs.
In order for his masterpiece to be successful, the jeweler must work with metals that have been rid of all the dross – what is left after burning all the impurities out of it.
Isn’t it ironic how when sin is in its unrefined state, safely tucked in our humanity, it looks like fun? Sometimes our dross resembles sexual sin, adultery, rage, alcoholism, or addiction. Maybe yours is anger, lying, or expressing feelings without guarding our tongue. Mine looks like fear of failure, fear of abandonment, and a host of random insecurities.
The only way to get rid of it is to have it refined out of us. Our Great Refiner takes us though seasons of purifying – heating up areas in our life that are useless to Him. I always pictured Him scooping the murky scum with a big ladle and discarding it in a heaven-sized trash bin deeming it useless, ugly, and unclean.
That is how my dross looks to me.
Proverbs 25:4 says, “Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.”
What a great promise! Our Refiner doesn’t just use what is Ieft after a season of refining. He takes the waste from our souls, and gives it to the Silversmith (I picture this as the Holy Spirit with a big rubber apron) and He makes jewelry from it!
How is THAT for recycling!
He takes the ugliest parts of us – parts that we are ashamed of, parts that scare us, parts that make us cringe – and He makes jewelry from them! Only our Refiner can create this kind of miracle! Only our Master Silversmith can make something beautiful out of rubbish!
Be encouraged! Seasons of painful refining create something beautiful from that waste. He will mold, twist, and shape your dross and place a jewel in it to create a new treasure.
“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.” Malachi 3:17