The date is penned in beside the Psalm, the date I asked the LORD to refine me that I might be pure gold.
I'm not sure I could have asked had I understood the refining process. I've since learned what it takes to refine gold.
Often gold is found in solid rock. The rock has to be broken up into movable chunks. "Removing the gold-bearing rock from the ground is just the first step. To isolate pure gold, mining companies use a complex extraction process. The first step in this process is breaking down large chunks of rock into smaller pieces. At a mill, large machines known as crushers reduce the ore to pieces no larger than road gravel. The gravel-like material then enters rotating drums filled with steel balls. In these drums, the ore is ground to a fine slurry or powder." (This quote is from the article listed below). Have you ever felt that life was pulverizing you?
The slurry then goes through a chemical process where water is added followed by the addition of the chemical solvent cyanide. Next the dissolved gold is removed using an electric current and positive and negative terminals. Stripping circumstances often reveal what is really in our hearts and cause us to let go of those things which are temporal and cling to the eternal.
The final stage of the process is the actual refining where the gold is heated to 1,600 degrees Celsius (water boils at 100). It is now poured into a mold and is ready to be formed for whatever use the master chooses. Are you "going through the fire"?
The almost violent intensity of this process brings forth the beautiful and valuable gold. I've been thinking that sometimes life brings experiences our way that seem to crush us, to strip us, to be an almost unbearable fire. God must think that transforming a human heart into the valuable and beautiful soul He desires to fellowship with and to use for His Kingdom is also worth the intense and often painful circumstances required to bring about that purity. When we go through trying circumstances our values are changed, our ways of thinking and seeing life are refined, Heaven becomes more precious, our motivations are purified, we are softened and our countenances are made clear and radiant.
When I want to run from the pain, hide from life, stop this awful process I need to remember that God is doing a purifying work in my heart that cannot be done with any less force. May we yield and be pliable and beautiful in His hands - refined gold.
You may enjoy the following article, Extracting Gold and video The Process of Excavating and Refining Gold.