If I am being completely honest, my most recent church assignment has been the most frustrating one I've ever experienced. There have been times I wanted to throw my hands in the air and quit. I have never felt that way about any other calling in my 24 adult years. I started the day off resentful and bitter about it. Many times I spend 20 plus hours a week planning trek. I feel like the things I love to do and the people I desire to serve most are paying the price. Its been an exercise in futility in more ways than I care to detail here.
That is how I started the day.
Then I went to institute. As I drove there, I prayed that Heavenly Father would soften my heart and help me learn what it was I was supposed to be learning and be able to work productively with some of the individuals I have to work with. I prayed that He would help me carry out His work for his youth and that I might be able to feel His approval, which is all that REALLY matters.
Then when I sat in class, it came to me. A quiet prompting that I am being refined. My being called to plan trek has less to do with talents and skills I have now and more to do with talents and skills he needs me to learn so that I can be more like Him.
I am being refined.
Whether I like it or not.
Brother Shumway shared this last week in the Frisco Institute and it was very helpful when I came home and re- read it.
Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: ‘And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.’
“One lady proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them on what the smith said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, asked the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, ‘But sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?’ ‘Oh, yes, madam’ replied the silversmith.
‘I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.’
“The lady at once saw the beauty of the expression, ‘He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.’ God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace. His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random and He will not lead us to be tested beyond what we can endure.
“Before she left, the lady asked one final question,
‘When do you know the process is complete?’
‘Why that is quite simple,’ replied the silversmith.
‘When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished.’
- CES Inservice, John Beck, Area Administrator
I know as I turn the other cheek, honor priesthood keys, exercise long suffering, put my head down and go to work I am being refined. And I am becoming more like Him.