|1.||to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities: to refine metal, sugar, or petroleum.|
|2.||to purify from what is coarse, vulgar, or debasing; make elegant or cultured.|
|3.||to bring to a finer state or form by purifying.|
According to Dictionary.com these are some of the definitions of refine.
There are many things that that we use every day that are refined. If you drive a car, you use refined oil products. Unless you have fasted, you probably eat refined sugar that is in some food almost everyday. If you are wearing any piece of gold...you got it...it has been refined.
I'm not sure of how the oil and sugar are refined, but I do know that gold is refined by fire. Gold is heated up by fire to the melting point. As the gold heats up, the impurities rise to the surface. They are separated from the gold. The more it is heated, the more impurities are pulled out and drained off. What is left behind is cleaned, refined and pure gold. *
Life feels like the refiner's fire sometimes...OK most of the time. Anything that causes us to stretch or grow is like a flicker of the flames. These everyday things bring stuff to the surface and separate it from our old selves and leaves behind something just a bit purer and refined. Learning something new, making a new friend, or stepping out of comfort zones are like the flickers. They are good and part of the process. We generally are ok with this kind of heat in life.
But, there is also the white hot core of the fire and the raging flames of life that truly melt us. These flames break us down, burn us up, and liquefy our souls. They humble, scare, and cause us to question who we are and what our purpose is. They pull out the impurities that keep us from being who we are capable of being, responsible to be, and know we should be. We don't like this kind of heat.
This heat comes in many forms. It may the loss of someone or something. It may be struggles with a spouse or significant other. Perhaps, amid the joy children bring, it is the struggles of raising them and watching them feel the fire of life. It could be it's finances. Maybe it's an internal struggle within one's self. Whatever the source is, this fire is hot and it hurts.
Unfortunately, we have no choice but to walk through the refining fire. It is part of life. It makes us who we are.
As a woman of faith, I know that I will not have completed my walk through the Refiner's Fire in this life. But I also know that the heat I face in life will not leave me in ashes, but will serve to refine me and each day bring me a bit closer to the day that I am pure as gold.