Pitch black, struggling to move in a depth that must be 90 to 120 miles beneath the surface of the earth. Surrounded by insurmountable pressure, at least 650,000 pounds per square inch. The temperature, an intense 1700 Fahrenheit or hotter.
Trusting in the Lord’s perfect plan, perseverance, moment by moment until one day the earth begins to shift. Finally, the pressure is loosed and glimpses of light are present. In the next hours, weeks and maybe even years the cutting begins. With a precision sharp tool the cuts continue from all sides until finally, the Master Craftsman is finished. It is finished.
The result is rare, unique, priceless, colorful, stunning, and beautiful.
Is it all worth it? Absolutely! Is the extreme nature of it all truly necessary? Absolutely!
Every step was intrinsically necessary in order to birth, shape, and polish a diamond. It has been said that a diamond is just a piece of charcoal that has handled stress exceptionally well. The more cuts the brighter the sparkles. A prism of color with exceptional characteristics, significant, beautiful and priceless in value. Find beauty in the darkest of days or your trial. As fiery as it may very well be, find joy in the moment for this life is temporary. Our goal is eternal.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:2 (NIV)
In the eyes of God, we are more valuable than the largest, rarest, and most flawless of diamonds. Only God can transform a painful past into a brilliant future.
“..because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:12-15(NIV)
Just as the excessive depths beneath the earth’s surface, insurmountable pressure and extreme heat are necessary to form and shape a diamond it is just as important for us, if not more to be cut, shaped and formed, transformed, born and reborn by our King Jesus.
It was just as necessary in the book of Daniel, chapter 3 that King Nebuchadnezzar needed to dial up the thermostat to the already blazing furnace to seven times hotter. The extreme fire even killing the soldiers walking Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego up to throw them in. The three had no parachute, no turnout gear, no extinguisher, only trust in the Lord.
It was just as necessary in chapter 6 of Daniel that Daniel himself was thrown down into the lions’ den. A pit of voraciously wild, intentionally starved and hungry lions. With no protection, no ladder, no escape route, only trust in the Lord. It was just as necessary in Genesis 37 for Joseph to be taken into the wilderness by his eleven brothers who stripped his clothes and threw him into an empty cistern to die, never be heard from again. Joseph had no rope, no first responders, no drain hatch to escape through, only trust in the Lord.
It was just as necessary for Lazarus of Bethany, best friend to Jesus, to have been very ill only to die and to be dead for not one, not two, not even three days but FOUR full days before Jesus came to him from only two miles away. Lazarus had no antibiotics, no nurses, no physician, only trust in the Lord.
So where’s the happy ending? Why should I be encouraged?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked out of the fire with only the ropes burned. They did not even smell of smoke.
Daniel was pulled out of the lions’ den by the King who restored him to a position of prominence.
Joseph survived the cistern and became second, only to Pharaoh, to command and rule over all of Egypt.
Lazarus was raised from the dead and walked out of the tomb.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Our God is the same God from Genesis to Revelation; from the beginning to the end, from yesterday, today and into our tomorrow. In the lives of the ones mentioned above God not only showed up but showed off speaking volumes to His power, His authority, His will.
From prison the passionate apostle Paul wrote a letter to the holy people of Ephesus. I believe his every attempt was to articulate the depth and width of God’s love for his people. Falling all over his words the New King James Version translation reads like this, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians3:20-21 (NKJV)
God did this for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Daniel, Joseph, and Lazarus to name only a few. God did it for me and He will do it for you. God loves you this much!
He will be with you in your fiery trial.
He will provide a protective barrier against harm.
He will pull you out of the pit.
He will raise you from the dead.
In the darkest of moments, greatest of trials, in the hottest of fire pits, in the most turbulent of ocean seas, in the coldest of tombs, miracles happen ~ first hand and front row. Knees will buckle, falling to the ground, face postured toward Heaven and arms stretched far and wide. Head back and tears flowing gratitude will grace our lips at every possible moment. We give Him all the power, honor and glory He so richly deserves.
He is our Father. He loves us deeply. He is waiting…