I wanted to expound on this week's "Quote of the Week", "A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure." -Henry Kissinger. I came across this quote this morningwhen I was reading God's Little Instruction Book (an excellent book, by the way) and I just had to blog my thoughts about it.
Henry Kissinger's words remind us that we all begin as "coal chunks;" spiritually black, ugly, and invaluable. However, when placed under pressure - a hard time at school or work, friends that turn on us, losing a loved one- we become something more. Clear, valuable, a symbol of love and life-long devotion.
When I have hard times, I find myself crying out in my heart, "Why, God? Why is this happening to me?" And soon after, the answer comes. A verse from the Bible will pop into my head or jump off the page, or someone will inadvertantly give me the answer while they are talking to me.
Isa. 48:10: "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." Refined silver is not as pure and is not worth as much as refined silver. God allows us to experience affliction so that we can become more pure. I have seen that this is true in my own life. I was repeatedly hurt very badly (emotionally) by someone a couple of years ago. I did not understand why it was happening and thought that the problem would never go away. However, my hurtful situation eventaully dissapeared and I found that I had grown much closer to God through the pain. I had matured, learned to forgive and deal with unkind people, and I was ready for whatever God had been preparing me for.
Unrefined silver- rough, uneven
Refined silver- smooth, refecting, ready to be made into useful objects
Here's a great illustration on how God refines us like silver: http://www.meadowridgekennels.com/gpage22.html
There are many times in the Bible when God's people are refered to as precious metals or gems. Check out a few of these verses:
- Proverbs 31:10
- Malachi 3:3
- Psalm 66:10
We are valuable to God! He wants us to become even more valuable. That is why he allows us to be "put through the furnace" and refined.