My mom's BF of 25 yrs was murdered almost 3 yrs ago in Ohio. They finally began the jury selection of the main shooter in the case. My heart is so heavy!!! I am amazed how God uses every situation in your life to make something beautiful, NO MATTER how ugly! Here is a, very long, devotional I co-wrote with Lord last year. I pray that the Lord will speak to your heart!
It’s been a little over 2 years since my heart was broken, both laterally and figuratively. When the man who was like a step father to me was killed I remember thinking how awful this experience was going to be for me and for many people that I loved. My heart was so broken! Emotionally, I was just broken. I remember thinking that there must be a reason for this. God is the God of the universe and this situation somehow fit into His big picture. So I had to deal with it... I was going to make it through and totally rely on God while I did.
A few months after Dave’s murder, I began to have chest pain I couldn’t breathe when I laid down, and I couldn’t take a deep breath even sitting up. To make a long story short, I had inflammation around my heart called, Pericarditis... the effects of it lasted almost 1 year. This isn’t usually the case... Even my Cardiologist would joke with me about my broken heart. Now, my physical heart is healed, but I am still working on the broken emotional heart.
As we began our study on 2 Corinthians at CBS Franklin, I knew a lot of healing was about to take place. In the first chapter, Paul referred to God “as the God of all comfort”. The commentary of the 1st lesson said something that has since become my motto... “We cannot control the events, which come into our lives, but we can control our reactions to them.” As I was preparing this devotional, I was looking back over our past lessons, commentaries and lectures from Community Bible study. One of the things that I absolutely love and is the inspiration for this devotional is when, the teaching director, Cindy said, “God never wastes a hurt!” As we learned in one of our lessons, Paul states in Romans 5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” As I dwelled on this scripture, I couldn’t help but think about how God is turning my hurt into something beautiful... even though the process of getting there is very ugly. Kind of like a Diamond. They are formed under extreme pressure and very high temperatures. They are formed in Mire under the Earths surface. Like us, before we are transformed by God’s grace, diamonds are ugly, dirty, and need a lot of attention.
Raw diamonds are very different from the diamonds that we call “a girls best friend.” Very few Diamonds are flawless. A variety of flaws appear in the stones. Diamonds are chipped and scratched as they travel closer to the Earth’s surface. Before it gains its true value... a Diamond must be cleaned, cut, and polished by a skilled jeweler. Only skilled Jewelers know that Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth but they have weak spots on them. Only the skilled Jeweler knows that a diamond must be cut along these weak spots. This is what gives the Diamonds that we wear in our jewelry their shimmer and shine.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The message bible refers to “these trials of many kinds” as pressure... and it says that “such pressure causes your faith-life to be forced into the open and shows its true colors”. Like a Diamond we are formed to be who we are supposed to be by withstanding the high pressure and temperatures of life and tough situations that can and do occur. Like a Diamond, our true beauty and value come out when we are cleaned, cut and polished by the skilled Jeweler... who we call; God.
Another interesting fact about Diamonds is that there is only one thing that can polish it... It is another Diamond. You Ladies have been the Diamonds that have polished this diamond. I see and have heard stories of the struggles, sufferings, and pressures that have come and gone in your lives and I’ve watch how God has comforted and strengthened you. Each of you has gone through something horrible and you just keep living and loving life... even when you’d rather not. That is an inspiration to me and makes me sparkle. Remember that Diamonds are Diamonds because of what they have gone through. And that they could not have done it alone.
As I prepared for this devotional I also did some research online and found this bible study by Julia Bettencourt, called “Diamonds, a girl’s best friend”. She say’s, “when we allow Christ to mold us and to work in our lives and to cut lines in us, then we will reflect His light and His beauty”. She wrote this acronym using the word DIAMOND that I thought was great. I was reminded that when I am going through the pressures of life and suffering through very difficult situations... God is the God of all comfort, He is the God of the universe and He does have the bigger picture in mind! He wants me to be the beautiful Gem He intended me to be. This acronym can remind all of us what we can do to let God do his molding, cleaning, cutting and polishing as we become diamonds that reflect his love, Grace, and mercy.
I would like to tell you what the “DIAMOND” in Julia’s acronym stands for. I would also like to add what each letter has meant to me in the process of becoming a Diamond.
D - Delight In The Lord
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
- Seek Him and His will in your life. He is the alpha and the Omega! He
Is the Beginning and the end...
- That means, he knows our end and what it takes to Get us to the
Beginning. He knows our desires and He knows what we need.
I - Increase In Love
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each Other and
For everyone Else, just as ours does for you.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12
- Loving others is so important... without love, we are nothing.
- But in that we must realize that we must increase in love for our selves also! After all God must think we are awfully special!
A - Abide In Christ
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him
Bear much Fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
- Christ is our strength... without Him, we can do nothing!
M - Minister To Others
“Share with God's people who are in need...” Romans 12:13
- Reaching out to others, when you are hurting gets your mind of your own situation and it Shows Christ’s love to others.
- We are to bear one another’s burdens and help each other get through tough times. Especially with prayer, time, and support.
O - Obey God's Word
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his Commands.”
1 John 2:3
- Reading and obeying His word shows God that you love Him and Long to serve Him.
- His word holds our destiny, we just need to read it, believe it, and obey it.
N - Never Give Up
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with Perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
- Life is so hard, but we can never give up! No matter how hard it gets!
- Even if we don’t see the promise, it is still there. Even when we don’t
see God moving in our lives, He is still there.
D - Die To Self
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ Lives in
Me. The Life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son Of God, who loved
Me and gave Himself for Me.” Galatians 2:20
- Put God and his will for your life first... no matter how difficult it may seem.
- Give the control back to God... Crucify your self, die to your own desires and let God take control.
In conclusion I would like to add that the process of becoming a diamond for God is also the process God uses for us to draw closer to Him. When we are going through our very difficult times like we learned Paul has had to endure we must remember what he said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.” A friend of mine once said... “When God doesn’t use His power to alleviate your pain, trust His power to get you through the pain”. When the pressure of life gets to be unbearable and the high temperature of the situation gets to be too much... Remember, God is creating something beautiful... A diamond!