Have you ever asked God: “if you love me so much, if you accept me so much, why are you trying to change me?” But what if He’s not trying to change us? Maybe we are being polished, like diamonds. A smudged diamond is still a diamond, but a little buffing makes it shine, and being a ‘brighter diamond’ will surely benefit others:
…my kids will benefit from me having more patience, strangers will benefit from me showing more kindness… I would benefit from extending more grace to myself …
There is a parable about a shepherd who leaves 99 sheep behind to get the one lost sheep back. It’s a parable often used to describe people “coming to Christ” (people starting to believe that Jesus and what he did is real). But maybe it speaks about more than just a first instance of “coming to Christ,” how about the daily instances when we “run away” from God and need a rescue?
How many times do you find yourself on that same slippery path again?
I will be hiding out eating away the stress of my day, hiding from failure and frustrations.
Sure, I cry out to God, but relief isn’t always instant and I am impatient! Sugar is a like a drug (actually proven more addictive than cocaine) and the effects are instantaneous.
So there I am “medicating” in the kitchen, and the Shepherd of my soul comes nudging me….
Shepherd: Hey Jasmine, what are you doing over there?
Me: Leave me! Im hiding! I don’t even see You sometimes….munch, munch..
Shepherd: Don’t worry. Ill be here when you’re ready to come out.
Me: I am not ready to come out.
Shepherd: Ok. Did you see I sent help for you?
Me: Oh yeah…hmmm..my kids called me upstairs to kiss them goodnight, which meant I had to leave the crime scene, aka kitchen. I also noticed my husband hid the box of baklava so I had to stop my train of thought and look around for something else, I guess I could’ve just stopped all together….Yes, I do see You were trying to help me, but sometimes I want to stay in the mud. (sigh of conviction and guilt…)
Shepherd: I know. But I still love you.
Me (recovering): Ok, thanks.
Life is hard and the pressures sometimes seem to be only intensifying. But diamonds are just lumps of coal formed under such circumstances. And they are some of the strongest precious stones in the world.
You may be feeling buffed up and bruised, but EVERYTHING (including all failures, difficulties, and pain) will be used for good—not just in your life but surely in the lives of others (because we are all connected).
And maybe all that buffing isn’t just because He wants you extra shiny–maybe He is getting you ready for something…
When potters prepare their clay for the wheel they first beat it for a long time. This beating gets bubbles out of the clay, which is necessary or else the finished vessel can burst when it goes into the fire.
God doesn’t want us to fall apart. We were made for Eternity.
Be assured, there is nothing that will touch your life that didn’t go past Him first.
Hang in there! You will shine brighter than the stars!
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”
(2 Corinthians 4:8)