In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. I Peter 1:6 (NIV)
The first time I heard the term “blood diamonds,” I pictured beautiful, perfectly facetted, sparkling gems with a rich, red hue. How shocked I was to discover their other name: conflict diamonds. The designation stems from the violence associated with mining them in war zones. If only they could be just as I imagined—beautiful and brilliant, without bloodshed.
The irony of both the name and how diamonds are formed struck me. Intense pressure makes them what they are. It also makes us what we are. God uses heat and pressure in the physical world: heat refining silver and gold; intense pressure creating strong, quality diamonds. Were we not also bought with blood, and doesn’t He use these methods to make us holy?
Abraham felt the pressure. God told him to sacrifice his son. How much weight must have pressed down on those old, frail shoulders. But he made the hard choice, trusted God, and today he is known as the father of our faith.
David experienced the heat. He told God, “you refined us like silver” (Psalm 66:10). James tells why in his epistle, explaining that those who persevere in trials will receive the crown of life from the Lord (James 1:12).
Jesus spilled the blood, fighting for us. Death and hell had claimed us as spoils of war, but Christ endured the cross, shedding His own blood to purchase us. He freed us from the power of sin, and His precious blood gave us great value.
Shape, refine, and strengthen us, Lord. Help us to view the pressures we face in life as opportunities to shine like diamonds.
© 2012 Katherine A. Fuller