Under Pressure

You may have heard the analogy of how living the Christian life is like a diamond being formed. A diamond is formed by taking carbon, applying time and pressure.  Similarly, a Christian “diamond” is made by taking a carbon life-form and applying time and pressure. A Christian’s faith and character is developed as we are put into situations that test us and allow us to grow. James 1:2-4 tells us to, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” A spiritual diamond! Brought to the point of perfection in Christ.

As I reflect on it, there is something missing in this comparison. A compressed piece of coal is still an unrefined rock, dull and dirty. There is still work to be done. The skill of a Master cutter is needed. For that stone to become brilliant, it needs to be cut and fashioned in such a way as to maximize the reflection of light. That means that the rough edges and dirty areas must be chipped away. It is only after this work is performed that the stone is made ready to capture light and reflect it all around.

But even after this process is done, the rock is powerless to shine unless there is a light-source, since it is not able to emanate light itself. A diamond that is stuck in the dark does not do anything to reveal the handiwork. Can you imagine a jeweler trying to display a beautiful diamond in a dark room? No, of course not; there must be illumination from an outside source. When there is light, it comes from one side, is captured, reflected and then the light rays are sent off into many directions.  Now we have an analogy I can live with.

We see in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

When we are beautiful, it is only because of the Master’s touch, not our own. A diamond-in-the-rough is not able to shape and perfect itself. Once He has shaped us according to His desire, He then sends His light to reveal His handiwork. We are designed and fashioned to reflect our God in heaven.

Finally, Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Our part in the process is to allow the Master’s hand to work, and then give Him the credit, to reflect Christ.

You are a gem. His gem. Reflect on that this week.