Nearly everywhere I go, I meet someone who is going through a really difficult time. I’ve faced difficult times and you probably have also. Have you ever wondered what is really going on behind the scenes when life becomes grueling?

The Bible says: “He (God) sits as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3). The scripture reminds me of the woman who read this verse and called a silversmith. She asked if she could watch him work but did not explain the reason for her curiosity. He agreed.

She watched as the silversmith held a piece of silver over the middle of the fire where the flames were the hottest. He watched the silver closely as the flames burned away all of the impurities. The woman asked the silversmith if he needed to sit in front of the fire the entire time the silver was being refined. He answered, “Definitely.” He had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire, he explained. “If the silver is left in the flames only a moment too long, it would be destroyed.”

The woman asked, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled and answered, “Oh, that’s easy—when I see my image in it.”

When I heard this story, I realized two things: One, when we feel like we are in the fire, our God has his eye on us and will never allow us to be destroyed. Two, He loves us enough to keep us in the fire until He can see His image in us.

Regardless of what you are experiencing at the moment, remember, our God is committed to watching over you and looking for His image to be reflected in your life.