Treasures of Darkness
|by Diane Dew
Deep in the center of the earth, a diamond is formed. Though many will admire its beauty and usefulness, when its formation is complete, none views the process by which it is formed. It is hidden, unseen, in the darkness.
So is the work of God in the heart of man.
During a particularly difficult time in my life, I was "in the dark" on why things were going the way they did. Everything seemed to be going wrong, and I didn't understand why. As soon as one catastrophe subsided, another surfaced. Every aspect of my life was under attack. At the time, it seemed I was "stuck" somehow in a downward spiral; I didn't know if things would ever turn around. A single mom, I was broke, unemployed, homeless (evicted without reason) - and very discouraged.
"Well, at least we have our health," I commented to a friend.
Then my son was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. With no place to live, I slept on a cot in his hospital room. Weeks later, after he began to make enough progress to be discharged, the doctor wouldn't let us leave unless I got a car so that I could rush him to the hospital if he began to have heart problems from the chemo, which would continue for eight months.
It was January in Wisconsin, and below-zero outside. Jon's counts were so low he was very susceptible to getting sick - with no immunity to fight off infection. I tried to call my ex, who was living out of state, to tell him what was going on in his son's life - and for financial help. He kept hanging up on me.
Someone at the hospital suggested we stay across the street from the hospital, at a Ronald McDonald House, and take the shuttle daily to Jon's doctor appointments and treatments. With eight more months of treatments ahead of us, however, I couldn't figure out how we'd get by. The limit on staying at there House was three weeks, and the day came when we had to leave. A family offered to take my son in - but not me. Another family decided to let me stay in their basement.
It was difficult not to be with my son during his chemo treatments - he was my only child. I returned to work and tried to "hang in there," waiting for things to turn around.
At times, the pressure was so intense, I felt I could bear no more. It was especially difficult because even though I knew the Lord was in charge of my life, I did not understand why he was allowing so many things to happen, and all at the same time!
I had no one to lean on but Jesus, no hope but what I read in His Word. He had promised to always be with me, to never leave me or forsake me. At times, the trials became so intense, the pressure so exhausting, that I felt I could crack. (Some diamonds, under pressure, do just that.) I kept asking God for understanding and faith to go on.
One day, the revelation came just as suddenly as when God spoke: "Let there be light - and there was light." I was browsing in the Salvation Army Thrift Store, trying to stay warm. I picked up a book on Geology. To this day, I have no idea why I even opened the book; it was not a topic I had ever studied or been interested in. But as I read, the Holy Spirit revealed to me exactly what was happening in my life, from an Eternal perspective. I could not put the book down!
So many parallels applied to my life directly. As I began to see a purpose behind all the seemingly terribly circumstances in my life, and realize that this time of testing was only temporary, I began to have hope. These trials had an eternal value, but the testings would not continue forever. Like Peter said, they were only "for a season" - not forever! (1 Peter 1:12; 5:10) Somehow it helped just to know there was a reason behind it all! I suddenly "snapped out of" the deep depression that had held me captive for months!
I would like to share some of the insights God gave me at that time.
What we're made of
He knows the way we take
There is an eternal purpose
This process is necessary
The unseen process
The most valuable gem
Cut, shaped, polished
We must learn to trust that He's in charge of our lives - even (especially!) when it looks like nothing's happening. His best work is taking place in us when it seems nothing is going on. Like the diamond, or gem, deep in the center of the earth - its "trouble" is its strength.
If we submit to His work in our lives, we will be transformed. If we demand to be released from the pressure, sometimes the Lord provides a way of escape, that we can endure it - but then we miss out.
Diamonds in the rough
We are all diamonds in the rough. The choice is ours. We can be common sand or we can be transformed into something greater, something more useful, something beautiful for him.
Our value and strength in God
A separation of impurities
And he will never, ever forsake you.
© Copyright 1998 Diane S. Dew
GEOLOGICAL FACTS ON DIAMONDS
Composition: Diamond is composed solely of carbon - the chemical element fundamental to all life - but in its most concentrated form. It is also extremely pure, containing only trace amounts of boron and nitrogen. It is the transparent form of pure carbon.
Conditions of Formation: Heat & Pressure: Diamond is amazingly dense - much denser than graphite, which forms near the earth's surface. This implies formation at high pressure.
Structure: Diamond is extraordinarily hard - while graphite, also made of carbon, is exceedingly soft. Diamond is transparent; graphite is metallic black.
Hardness: The only substance that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. Hardness is the measure of a substance's resistance to being scratched. Diamond is the hardest substance known.
Durability: Durability is the capacity to withstand abuse. Hardness - resistance to scratching - is one measure of durability. The relative resistance to fracture is another. Although diamond is extraordinarily hard and is not fragile, it has a plane of weakness in its structure, a cleavage, along which it can be split. All substances, even diamond, can break or shatter.
Dispersion: The most prized attribute of a colorless diamond, its glinting spectrum, is its most prized attribute. It is the result of its great dispersion - the refraction and separation of white light into rainbow colors.
Refraction: The value of diamond is in its brilliance and luster - which result from its capacity to refract light (that is, to bend light, scatter light, and reduce the velocity of light passing through it).
Thermal Conductivity: Diamonds are cold to the touch. In fact, they actually extract heat away from the area they touch. Diamond slices rapidly through ice because it transmits heat from the fingers holding it.
Electrical Conductivity: Normally, diamond is a poor conductor of electricity. However, rare diamonds, particularly the gray-to-blue ones, are semiconductors, and are somewhat conductive.
Fluorescence & Phosphorescence: Some diamonds can glow in the dark. When illuminated by ultraviolet light, they can absorb the high-energy ultraviolet and re-emit the energy as visible light.
We are precious to God.
God calls us his jewels.
We are his treasure.
He delights in us.
We are his desire.
God is possessive of his people.
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