The Refiner’s Fire

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Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Susan G. Mathis, as she talks about something we all experience …

The Refiner’s Fire

Have you ever gone through the refiner’s fire? I’m sure you have, and so did my characters in Mary’s Moment who had just survived a Great Fire that took more than one hundred businesses, cottages, and a hotel and nearly destroyed their community.

We may not face a fire that destroys our community, but we face fiery tests nearly every day. May God refine us in those seasons so we can become pure as gold.

Excerpt from Mary’s Moment:

Reverend Thompson addressed the congregation. “Our text for today is from the prophet Malachi. ‘Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me … for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.’”

Mary shifted in her seat, glancing at George and little Robbie, just across the aisle to her left. She sighed at the thought of what could have been.

The preacher interrupted her musings before they took a dark turn. “Most of us have watched Mr. Block blow glass and pound it into something beautiful. And many of you have seen a smithy heat metal to soften it so he can hammer and mold it into a useful product. Perhaps a few of you may have even seen a silversmith or goldsmith refine the precious metal to remove the impurities. Such a skilled metallurgist puts the silver or gold into a crucible—a container that won’t melt. Then he puts the crucible into a fire and heats it to nearly two thousand degrees until the silver or gold melts.” He let his words sink in. “After it cools, he scrapes off the impurities that have risen to the top. Then, he repeats the process again and again until there is nothing left that taints the precious metal. Only then is the silver or gold pure.

“Can you imagine how blistering two thousand degrees must be? Remember the fire a few weeks ago? That fire might have been a thousand, maybe even fifteen-hundred degrees. But to purify precious metals, the fire must be even hotter.”

Mary slipped her handkerchief from her reticule and swiped a stream of perspiration that ran down her cheek. What a topic for such a hot day.

Reverend Thompson continued. “In truth, the difficulties and battles we face in our lives refine and purify us. That spiritual purification process removes the sin and impurities of our lives so we can better reflect Him. And sometimes that involves suffering.

“We may have more refining fires ahead of us, and we must be on guard to never become bitter or unforgiving or hardened by those troubles. Our God is not a cruel God. Our troubles may be painful, but in the end, our experiences will purify us to reflect Him better—if we allow it. Is it easy? Certainly not. But nothing God allows is pointless. He will work within our most difficult times so we can reflect Him better. May we stand strong in the midst of troubles and come out of it all as gold. Amen.”


Nothing God allows is pointless. Share on X

About Mary’s Moment:

Summer 1912

Thousand Island Park’s switchboard operator ​Mary Flynn is christened the community heroine for her quick action that saves dozens of homes from a terrible fire. Less than a month later, when another disastrous fire rages through the Park, Mary loses her memory as she risks her life in a neighbor’s burning cottage. Will she remember the truth of who she is or be deceived by a treacherous scoundrel?

Widowed fireman George Flannigan is enamored by the brave, raven-haired lass and takes every opportunity to connect with Mary. But he has hidden griefs of his own that cause him great heartache. When George can’t stop the destructive Columbian Hotel fire from eradicating more than a hundred businesses and homes, he is distraught. Yet George’s greater concern is Mary. Will she remember their budding relationship or be forever lost to him?      


Readers of Christian historical romance will enjoy this exciting tale set in 1912 Thousand Island Park, NY.

Reviewers are saying: “Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better.”—Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author.


Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has ten in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Peyton’s Promise, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Rachel’s Reunion, and Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. She makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit for more.

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