No two ways about it… we learn our best character developing lessons in the challenges of life. I don’t know why it must work that way. I sure wish it were different. Why couldn’t we develop honesty, integrity, joy, compassion, patience, perseverance, etc., while sitting in a beautiful garden enjoying the flowers, or by a babbling brook listening to the sweet song of our favorite bird as the water smoothly rushes by ? The answer lies, I suspect, within the following Bible verse: Proverbs 27:17 says as iron sharpens iron so does one man sharpen another. The challenges, the conflicts, the ups-and-downs in our lives are the character developing elements in God’s tool box. In the midst of trials and situations the Holy Spirit chips away the rough edges of our character, much like a fine craftsmen Jeweler. The jeweler desires the greatest sparkle, the clearest clarity; one worthy to be called a diamond, one worthy to fetch the best price. The jeweler chips away on the stone until it reaches its full potential a sparkling, clear, diamond. We are God’s gems and the Holy Spirit is our jeweler. J
In order for diamonds to become the beautiful gem we enjoy, the mineral must undergo extreme pressure and then fight its way to the surface in a fiery battle. (Most natural diamonds are formed at high-pressure high-temperature conditions existing at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 120 mi) in the Earth mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the Earth). Diamonds are brought close to the Earth’s surface as they fight through deep volcanic eruptions by magma, which cools in igneous rocks, known as kimberlites & lamproites.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond.
Like the process of becoming a diamond, character development is arduous, and often long. (Praise God it is not billions of years, even though it may seem as such 🙂 The diamond fights its way through fire and volcanic eruptions to become the glorious creation it is designed. It is not extreme heat and pressure, or billions of years which develops our character into a gem of glory; no, it is the work of the Holy Spirit through trials and challenges which come our way. When we face difficult times, life threatening situations, challenging relationships and financial losses, the Holy Spirit chips away the rough edges of our character. Where there once was anger and bitterness, under the hands of the Holy Spirit, there is now compassion, understanding, and hope. The Holy Spirit brings clarity of vision. Where once we saw only ourselves and our hurts, we now see others hurts and needs. We see with great clarity as we see others through the eyes of Jesus.
Here is where the similarity between the diamonds process and ours ends. The diamond must fight its way to the surface. If we desire to become a gem of rare beauty we must do the complete opposite; we must surrender, stop fighting, and yield to the touch of the Master Creator’s hand; God. We do not go through the process alone. As we submit to God the Holy Spirit guides and instructs along the way. The Holy Spirit provides comfort when the going gets extremely hard. He strengthens us when our character is weak and encourages us when we simply desire to quit!
We will have trials and we will have temptations they are inevitable. What we do when under fire will determine the outcome. Will we submit to the Master Creators hand and become a beautiful gem or will we demand our own way, fight for our rights and refuse to let the Holy Spirit work. When the conflicts come and they will; when the pressures rising, and it will, will you choose to fight or surrender; will you choose resistance or submission. The goal in the process is not perfection. The goal is to become a rare beauty. A gem wrought at the hands of the Master Creator.
When tough times come remember you are a diamond, a gem, in the eyes of God and give praise that the process won’t be a billion years 🙂 🙂 🙂
Until next time – Be encouraged,