“For you, God, tested us: you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us into a place of abundance.” Ps 66:10-12
I was reading Psalm last night, and stumbled upon this verse about refining silver. I’ve always heard about refining gold, but had never heard of the process of refining silver. Upon researching this practice, I realized the beauty of this image Jesus portrayed for us. We often want to discuss the refining process, without realizing the characteristics of silver.
Silver reflects all visible light: In the same way that silver reflects light, we should be reflectors of the true Light. Our job is to be reflectors of Jesus. We are completely incapable of being a perfect, pure light. Only Jesus is perfect and pure enough to be considered “light.”
Silver is often found with other metals: Silver is found in ores, that contain many other metals. The process of refining silver begins with separating silver from the other metals it is buried with. In the same way, we are intertwined with our own sin. We must be separated from our broken humanness by the One who knows no sin. We do not meet Jesus as perfect people, rather, he must purify us through saving grace.
Even hardened silver recrystallizes and becomes soft, to maintain hardness. Other metals are added to form alloys: We cannot walk with Jesus on our own, we must be united with other believers. If we do not have anyone holding us accountable, it is difficult to maintain solid. We are often most susceptible to sin, when we are trying to fight sin on our own. We must stand firm by reading the Word, praying, and surrounding ourselves with other believers.
Let us stay strong in the midst of the refining process, and work to become the pieces of silver. God never promised that it would be easy, but he promised to work all things for our good. As silver needs to be refined, so His people need to be tested in order to attain their best potential. May we all recognize Jesus’ refining to make us like silver as the best possible gift he can ever bestow. It is a process to make us reflectors of beauty, but it is so worth it.
“This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.'” Zechariah 13:9
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica