The size of a pigeon egg with a value of approximately 250 million dollars, the Hope diamond is the most outstanding blue diamond in the world. In 2003, it was taken to a museum laboratory for testing and an ultraviolet beam was focused on the stone. The beam was turned off and the diamond glowed bright orange-amber in the darkness. This intense color lasted for several seconds and puzzled the scientists. What caused the gem to glow in the dark remains a mystery.
You and I are diamonds in the rough and are of more value than the Hope diamond. According to Scripture, each child of God is more valuable than the whole world. We also have remarkable luminescent properties that people around us do not understand. Our purpose is to shine in this present spiritual darkness. “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14 KJV).
Did you know that no two diamonds are alike? They have inclusions or nature’s birthmarks. They develop over hundreds of years when the stone crystallizes from carbon. Each diamond is born with traits that make it uniquely different. However, these differences do not interfere with the passage of light through it or affect its beauty. Diamonds also vary in their natural color. They can be clear, blue, pink, green, orange, yellow, brown, or black.
Jesus Christ, the Master Designer, created each of us. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14 KJV). His hand fashions us with the temperament, talents, and traits that make us unique. Deciding what we will do is not our choice. Our Lord chooses what He will have us do and then equips us to accomplish it. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV). One of Satan’s most successful tactics is making us feel we are of no use to our Lord. This can cause us to turn from Jesus, our source of light. A diamond has no brilliance without light to reflect.
Color is another aspect of determining the value of a diamond. The best way to see the color is to look at it against a white surface, not comparing it to other diamonds. This fact illustrates a vital lesson for us as believers.
We often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. It is easy to forget that our standard is Christ, not other people. Jesus said, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15 KJV). We need to lay our life next to His example to determine our spiritual color.
Raw diamonds have no natural beauty, and therefore, must be cut and polished. The cuttings in the gem are known as facets. A typical diamond has fifty-eight facets. These are what refract and reflect the light resulting in sparkling radiance.
Since diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, they require specialized tools for refining. The cutter will calculate an exact mathematical formula, leaving nothing to chance, and begin his work. He will use a revolving bronze disc with an edge that has been treated with olive oil and diamond dust, the only substance hard enough to wear down another diamond.
Similarly, we are in need of facets to refract spiritual Light to those around us. Our Lord leaves nothing to chance. In His sovereignty, he orchestrates circumstances to refine us. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7 KJV).
As diamond dust is used to cut diamonds, our Lord uses people to cut the facets we need. The critical co-worker, the complaining neighbor, the rebellious child, or the demanding church member are all like diamond dust. The experiences of betrayal, loss, pain, loneliness and suffering are all tools in the hands of our loving Lord. Whatever He chooses to use in our life, it will always be accompanied by the oil of the Holy Spirit.
Although the refining process can be long and agonizing, the purpose is to conform us to His image. Through our difficulties and distress, we experience the reality of our Lord. Job is a clear example of this. He suffered tremendous loss of possessions, family, reputation, and health, but consider what he said at the end. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5 KJV). God became real to him.
Job gives testimony to the remarkable results of the refining hand of God. Each trial we endure cuts a new facet meant to intensify our spiritual brightness. Arthur Miller said, “the jungle is dark but full of diamonds.” The world is spiritually dark, but our Lord is transforming us into sparkling gems to shine forth His light. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8 KJV).
You may not feel like a diamond. You may see no talents, abilities, or opportunities that would enable you to exhibit any brilliance. Malcolm Forbes, a former publisher of Forbes magazine, said, “Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” A similar statement could be said about us. Our job is obedience with a submissive heart and our Lord will do the rest.
Esther was a simple, young orphan girl raised by her cousin Mordecai. I doubt if she considered herself diamond material. Yet, she found favor in the sight of the king of Persia, and he chose her to be his queen. Through God-ordained circumstances, Esther was instrumental in saving vast numbers of Jews and became a brilliant jewel for Israel.
Daniel, a young man taken captive by an ungodly king, is determined to be true to his God. In time, this simple slave boy was promoted to the highest office in the Babylonian kingdom. God granted him great wisdom and power and he became a radiant gem in Jewish history.
Both Esther and Daniel were ordinary people who simply obeyed their Lord. It was the hand of God that refined them and skillfully cut the facets to make them illustrious jewels for His kingdom.
When the trials come, when disaster strikes, when our dreams are dashed and our life appears to have no purpose, remember: the Master Craftsman is at work. He is refining you and cutting the facets He deems necessary for you to become a priceless, brilliant diamond shining forth His glory in a dark and needy world. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3 KJV). “Diamonds are forever.” (Ian Fleming)