Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Refined like silver

Malachi 3:3 "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled a group in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character of God. One of them offered to find out the process of refining silver and to 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 as 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 eye 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."

Isn't this story awesome? My Aunt sent it to me and I loved learning more about how God uses the trials in life like refining silver. He holds us in a fire (trial) until the impurities are gone and he sees his image in us. And he sits there with us the entire time. Like, silver, I feel like I have been held in a fire. It is quite obvious that God does not intend to take me out of the fire until his plan is finished. I know my life has changed for the better over this past year, and I have a lot more to work on. Specifically letting go of control and completely trusting God with my life. There are times I feel like he has held me in the flames too long to the point of feeling defeated and destroyed but somehow I find the strength to go on.

Today I had the first surgery of 3 to fix the holes in my face. The surgeon made two incisions in my face and then stitched them up again. Little did I ever think this would be a blessing, but because I have very little feeling left in my face I felt no pain when he injected numbing medicine and made the incisions. So the procedure was VERY easy. My face is a little red and swollen, but I feel no pain. Now we have to sit and wait. This end result of this procedure is not going to be pretty so we further discussed the other option of replacing all of the skin with the skin on my forearm. The advantages to this procedure is that my face would look less deformed, my cheekbone could possibly be fixed at the same time and I would no longer have to worry about holes forming again in my face. What I wouldn't give to no longer have to worry about holes. I am seriously considering doing this surgery. We decided to meet again with my Surgical Oncologist who would perform this surgery. We will meet with him on Monday. Should we decide to do this procedure, the incisions that were made today would just be taken off with the other skin that would be removed so there was no harm done with what we did today. It would be a difficult surgery and the recovery will be longer. But in the long run I might be happier.

Thank you for keeping me in your prayers today. Please pray for our meeting on Monday and for wisdom to make the right decision. Pray that the hole in my face does not get any bigger. Another hole started to form under it so pray no other holes form. I also have an eye appointment on Monday. The vision in my right eye is starting to deteriorate so I am getting a little concerned. Having it checked out. Pray it is a minor fix.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.



Anonymous said...

I know you will come to the best decision for you. You are much stronger than anyone I know and you continue to amaze me with your strength. I'm glad things went well today, I am sure you are happy to have this behind you.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Praying continued strength for you and your family as you forge forward. Lifting you up...

Anonymous said...

Sue, I love the silversmith story...you have always made the right decisions in your health care and Mackenzie's!So, go forward and take the road that feels right. Your strength and courage continue to inspire all of us who are humbled each day that we come to your blog.
Have a sunshine day!
Kari Karrmann

Anonymous said...

Love the silversmith story!
And my friend, I DO SEE HIM IN YOU!
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself....
you are a gift to us all.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Sue!

It has been such a treat for me to see you at VBS this week. We will continue to pray for you and pray that God helps you make the decision on how to proceed. You are a beautiful person inside and out!