For a silver refiner to “try” silver, he must remove the impurities called dross from it. That is how it gets its purity. The best way to do this is to insert the silver into intense heat long enough for the metal to soften and the impurities to rise to the surface. Then the refiner scoops off the dross, leaving the shiny silver. When he can see his face clearly in the glow of the liquid metal, he knows it is purified. He has “tried” it and found it to be true.
But the thing about silver is that it tarnishes very quickly. It doesn’t stay shiny and bright for long. Like a magnet, it attracts impurities to its surface. As a child, I would sit at the kitchen table spread with newspapers and help my mother polish the silver for Thanksgiving dinner. Using soft cloths, we’d rub and rub the polish into the crevices where the black gunk lay, then rinse the silver and buff it dry. Then my mother learned a trick. Put in a piece of chalk to absorb the moisture then wrap the silver tightly in Saran wrap to keep out the air. It sort of worked.
Trying and carrying for silver describes the Christian life, doesn’t it? God heats us up just enough to let the impurities in our lives rise to the surface so He can help us deal with them. Past hurts, fears, misunderstandings and hate all are dross. If we are to reflect Him in our lives, if He is to shine through, we need people to see His purity, not our flaws.
Easier said than done, because we all have dross. That is where trust comes in. God knows how hot the purifying fire must be to keep us from melting away or burning up. As He works with us, more and more of the dross will disappear. It’s a careful process performed in the loving hands of the Master. Yet, it doesn’t end there, does it?
Living in the world constantly exposes us to things that can tarnish us. So,we need a good polishing on a regualr basis. We need His grace to rub down into the crevices and get all the black out. When people see that happening, they can see God at work in our lives and be encouraged. Perhaps, like the tip my mother learned, with the Holy Spirit as our chalk, we can be wrapped in a shield of prayer like Saran wrap. That will keep a lot of the tarnishing out, but not all. Still, it will make the polishing a bit easier.
One more thing, silver that is constantly used stays shiny longer. Let God use you and shine forth His love in your life. Trust in Him.