He is tender and loving and patient with me,
While He cleanses my heart of its dross,
But "there's no condemnation"--
I know I am free,
For my sins are all nailed to the cross.
from the hymn Nailed to the Cross
Cleansing my heart of its dross is a reference to the refining process that silver and gold must go through- to go from its natural, rough, impure state to a state of refined purity and beauty and high value.
Psalm 66:10 says For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
To think that God is actively involved in the refining process of my life is both humbling and exciting!
I put a lot of pressure on myself to do this myself and then I am reminded by verses such as these that it is God working the process! What a relief!! Of course I must be willing to submit to His hand in this process, and that is the hard part. Because refining requires heat and pressure- neither of which are comfortable.
The raw metal must be heated to a very high temperature for the dross (impurities) to be removed.
Psalm 66 continues the thought:
You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire
and through water;
But You brought is out to rich fulfillment.
Submitting to the process, I believe, means trusting God through the difficult times. Times when we are fearful, doubting, struggling, suffering because of our own sins or the sins of others.
It means keep on keepin' on!
Keep reading His Word- IT IS YOUR FOOD-YOUR SUSTENANCE.
Keep praying- it is your communication with your Savior.
Keep assembling with your brothers and sisters- there is strength here!
Keep looking for the value in your suffering-how you are learning to lean upon the LORD.
Remember He said I will never leave you nor forsake you!
I am confident that He truly IS always THERE.
My feeling that He may be distant or disinterested is simply that:
my feeling. Nothing more.
God still has A LOT of work to do in refining me, but I'm so glad that He loves each one of us enough to do it.
And HE does all things well.