Wednesday, November 24, 2010

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - A Diamond is Forever

"A diamond is a chunk of coal made good under pressure." - Anonymous

"Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are? Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky..." Do you recognize these familiar lyrics? It came to mind as I was reading Philippians 2:14 &15. It says, "Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." Several generations prior to Paul's letter to the Philippians, God had made a promise to Abraham that he would have as many children as the stars in the sky. (Genesis 15:5) Guess what? We've been included in that family of stars. We too, who have been adopted through Jesus, are now included in that family of stars. God desired so much to have a relationship with us, that all the way back then He was thinking of you. Just as the words of the nursery rhyme is sung, "We are like a diamond in the sky."

How are diamonds formed? (see diamond cutting video) A diamond starts out as a chunk of coal that is mined and brought to the jeweler. The jeweler takes that coal and begins chipping off the layers to reach the potential diamond. In that process, a piece of dull, unshaped glass-like form appears. The rough diamond is clamped in a dop and held against this whirly disc or a polishing wheel. The diamond dust is mixed with olive oil and is used on the wheel to grind away the diamond to the desired angle. The polishing wheel spins around and around cutting, scraping and shining up the diamond. This process polishes the diamond symmetrically on all the facets at angles to reflect the maximum amount of light. Eventually the outcome is a diamond that is clear and colorful. The more cut to the diamond the greater its value.

We too are similar to a diamond. God uses other people to help shape us. It is the cutting and grinding away of our rough edges and the polishing of encouragement that begins to help us see our potential. But it is the circular motion of the polishing wheel, which is similar to our circumstances that come around regularly, that also contributes to our value. 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 says it best. "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of the darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

God knows and sees our potential. After all, He did create you. But Jesus is like the dop, standing in the gap and holding you in position while you are being cut, shaped and polished. The diamond dust represents our relationships that sometimes rub us the wrong way and yet this is what helps to allow the light to reflect. The Holy Spirit is like the olive oil that comforts us in those times and helps to make a new creation. It's the soothing of the olive oil that gives us the grace to endure that allows us to shine.

The hope is that we will become a transparent yet a brilliant and colorful diamond. We are to be a reflection of the glory of the one and only flawless diamond, Jesus. He is the treasure of Heaven. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." Who would have ever guessed such a treasure could be found in a piece of coal. God's ultimate purpose for us is to spend eternity with Him. Like the advertisement says, "A diamond is forever."

Thought: What circumstances are you facing right now that are bringing out your hidden potential? What areas of your life are being cut away and polished so you may reflect the glory of the Lord? What real-ationships is God using in your life to make you all that He created you to be?

Take a moment to think about these questions. If you are unsure, take this time to ask God the question, what are You doing in my life? Who and what are you using to bring out my hidden potential? And last but not least, am I a reflection of Jesus?

Whatever circumstances you may be facing right now that seem to be bringing you to the end of your rope, don't worry that is not the way God sees it. Just as Psalm 121:5 says God is watching over your life. He will bring comfort and hope to the most distressing circumstances. Take comfort knowing that His purpose in your life will be fulfilled. No matter what the pressure is that you are facing, it is adding another facet to your life. This process will bring beauty to your life, just as the many cuts to a diamond maximize its brilliance. You are God's treasure and His plan is for eternity, because diamonds are forever.