“Diamonds Are Created Fifty Miles Below The Surface Of The Earth.”

I read the headline and cringed.  Imagine the pressure.  Imagine the darkness.  Imagine the isolation. Imagine the distance from anyone who would ever appreciate the grueling process or even discover that they were there.  And all the while, the refining goes on interminably until an outside force declares “That’s enough” and the release and retrieval of the stones begins.

The master craftsman cuts away the impurities and imperfections and begins the arduous process of faceting, so that at every possible angle, light is reflected.  The final polish produces a diamond as nearly perfect as any jewel on earth and certainly more universally loved than any other.

And so it is with Christians.  Those who suffer the greatest pressure, the most agonizing trials, the severest losses, the most mind-numbing isolation and the most debilitating infirmities, are being carefully formed in that unbearably lonely terrain by the One who Himself crafts His saints, His diamonds, the darlings of His care.

Corrie Ten Boon, whose family hid the Jews from encroaching Nazis, was one of these diamonds.  When her so-called treason was discovered by the Nazis, Corrie and her sister were incarcerated in a prison camp where Corrie’s sister died as a result of injuries inflicted by Nazi prison guards.  Corrie’s account, which was later made into a major motion picture, reveals the loneliness, isolation, suffering, pressure and darkness of a diamond-in-the-making.

Her submission, her faith and trust in Almighty God, her willingness to have the dross repeatedly cut away from her life, permitted her to finally emerge as a diamond ready for the final faceting and polishing. We who are still in the process admire and emulate her.

The Apostle Paul, a devoted follower of Christ, was not spared.  His beatings, his loneliness, his incarcerations, his vilification, his suffering, his prolonged illness, his isolation, all became part of the faceting process which shaped him into a model for Christian behavior for all time.

God never promised not to give us more than we think we can endure; indeed, His children have more often than not been subjected to pain and suffering way beyond their endurance.  But there is comfort in knowing these words:

Never doubt me, please don't fret,
I’ve never left My children yet.
Remember, child, that you can rest
And trust in me to do what’s best.
My reasons seem obscure to you,
But there are things that I must do
To make you, child, more like My Son,
And only I’ll know when that’s done.

I’ll see you through; I know the way
Will seem so hard, but this I’ll say:
Your very soul is safe with Me
For now and for eternity.

The Master Craftsman, with a painful but loving chisel, is busy at work.  And we can trust not only His timeless skill, but His flawless, finished product.

Mariane Holbrook




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