For Now, God Keeps Your Tarnish

As an occasional collector of silver coins, one of the complications I face is tarnish. This is a thin film of corrosion that develops on real silver and other metals, losing its shine and turning it a dull grey or brown. On the metal’s surface, a chemical reaction takes place with oxygen or sulphur dioxide. Unlike other corrosions, such as rust, the tarnish only eats into the very top layers of the silver. This means it is easily removed and heavily discoloured coins retain their intrinsic value. Dealers will sometimes disapprove of silver coins that have been cleaned. This is because the tarnish serves as a protective barrier. The wise coin collector will leave the tarnish, knowing that subsequent layers of silver are preserved by the chemical reaction on the uppermost. 

God does not remove many of our infirmities, burdens, or difficulties, because they protect and preserve the layers beneath. I have one particular hindrance which I know the Lord ordains, as it serves as a wonderful antidote to pride. Thorns in the flesh are painful, but they prevent far worse. Tarnishing of silver looks unattractive, but it is preferable to rust that eats into the heart of other metals.