Malachi 3:3 says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
This verse puzzled some people doing a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
Mary, one of the people there, offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, Mary called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him 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 where the hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
Mary 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 yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes 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.
Mary 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.”
(Author and source unknown to me)