I didn’t realize all the research that went into the purchase of my wedding ring. But my husband took the job very seriously; we went ring shopping with a notebook full of his questions to ask the jeweler. I thought all I had to do was point out the one I thought would look amazing on my ring finger, but I was clueless! The only jewelry I wore was a pair of itty-bitty diamond earrings given to me by my grandmother. I gave my husband-to-be complete freedom to choose, telling him I would love anything he picked out. And I did! What a treasure–a token of love, a symbol of our marriage, a daily reminder of his promise to me.
A few years later, when I took my ring in to be repaired, the jeweler complimented my husband’s diamond choice. Diamonds are rated on a scale for cut, clarity, and color. My ring was rated high on this scale. Even though very modest in size, the color, clarity, and cut made it a near perfect jewel. The jeweler said it was a shame to have this ring covered in dirt and grime. I felt embarrassed and tried to explain that I was a busy mom and housewife. He laughed as he told me day-to-day life just makes diamonds a magnet for dirt. He steamed it clean and handed it to me. WOW! It looked just as shiny and beautiful as the first day it was given to me on that dusty hiking trail in Castle Rock State Park. It wasn’t just me. I had a lady come up to me and say that my ring sparkled across the room. I kid you not– my ring isn’t from a fancy blue-boxed jewelry store. It is modest, it is simple, but boy, does it catch people’s attention when the light hits it just right. Perfectly brilliant.
Caked with dirt, lotion, and past PB&J sandwiches, that precious stone it was not able to display its full beauty. The diamond had been cut and shaped to reflect as much light as possible; every facet, every angle had a purpose. But with all that grime in the way, that little diamond was not able to fulfill its true purpose: to SHINE. It was chosen for its beauty. In its raw form, the diamond was seen for its potential, and under the master-hand of a gem cutter, it was sculpted into a work of art. I can’t help but see us as children of God the same way – brimming with beauty and potential, designed to radiate God’s character to the world.
Every weakness you feel you have is a facet of your life that God wants to shine through to reveal His glory in your life. He gives each of us a special call, commissioning us to shine His love to a world that so desperately yearns for hope. It is all too easy for us to think the only way to truly impact our world is to show how strong we are or how well our lives are put together. We present this solid front of control, rules, and faux-perfection to a world that can see right through it. We have it all wrong! The world doesn’t need our facade; it needs us in our weakness to see the power and strength of God.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ // 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We are created to be so much more than we realize. Underneath the layers of insecurities, fears, past regrets, and pain, there is a beautiful treasure waiting to be unearthed. But day-to-day life piles on top of us, quenching the glory we were meant to radiate. We so often move from one activity to another, never really realizing how much of the day we carry on to the next.
In order for us to shine in a world of darkness, we need to daily come before Him with our lives, allowing Him to renew us, to strip us of the false identities we live in. He invites us to lay all of our sin, fear, worry, and addictions at His feet. He purifies us through this process, lovingly wiping away the dirt and grime of our sins until we are spotless. He cultivates in us the courage and strength to be real and authentic to a world that so desperately craves the truth.
Some of the most beautiful people I have met are the ones who show hope, peace, and strength in the midst of great difficulties. They glow with God’s goodness, knowing that He is in control and using it all for His purpose. They still struggle like we do, and they may wrestle with the “whys,” but they have allowed God to shine forth through it all so he can reveal his power! This is what the world needs: God’s church fully alive in her beauty through the knowledge of Jesus.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.“ // 2 Corinthians 4:6-10
Let’s live in our true identity, as a shining reflection of who God is in our lives. Let’s allow Him to show His power in changing us daily to be more like Him–the most beautiful one of all.