I have never met a person who doesn’t love diamonds. Sometimes I find it hard not to stare when I see one of these sparkling rocks on the hand of another woman or displaying in a glass case in the shopping mall. I have to admit, as often as I’ve admired the unique beauty of this gem, I have never thought much about the process it takes for the diamond to become so stunning.
Bear with me as I briefly explain the process of forming diamonds.
Diamonds are formed deep within the upper layer of the earth’s mantle where there is extreme heat. The combination of the heat along with high pressure and heavy weight from the rock above are what cause the diamond to grow in size and form. The way diamonds end up on the surface of the earth is through a violent, forceful eruption. (1)
The interesting thing about diamonds is that when they are found, they are not very impressive looking. If you or I were to see one of these diamonds on the ground, we would probably kick it aside, mistaking it for an irregular piece of glass, smeared with oil. (2)
In fact, once a diamond is found it has to pass through the hands of three different people whose jobs are to split it, cut it and polish it. These additional processes require it to be broken apart, roughed up and once again, placed in extreme heat. Sometimes months, and even years, are required for the perfecting of a single stone. (3)
What I love about this whole process is how easily it relates to our lives.
Like diamonds, many of us have been put through some intense heat and pressure throughout life. We’ve been through some horrific tragedies and circumstances that have placed enormous weight and pain on top of us. Sometimes in the process of dealing with our pain, we are forcefully pushed into a life that we would never wish on anyone. As we continue to process the shock and pain of our situation, we feel like a dirty tainted diamond lying in a pile of dirt, unnoticed and maybe even kicked by those around us. We’re a mess and we know it! We have rough, sharp edges that have developed because of these painful situations.
Then one day, just like a diamond miner is an expert at spotting this rare gem, the Lord sees us and picks us up out of the dirt. He assures us that He can wipe away our grease covered exterior and chip away at our calloused layers to make us whole again. Many times the Lord shows us someone else who has been through his process of refining and it gives us hope. Sometimes we are even caught off guard as we accept this promise and are suddenly taken through another painful process that breaks us, cuts us and buffs out our flaws. When we said “yes” we never realized how much it was going to hurt to have our painful memories and experiences polished away. Yet in the end we become a beautifully and wonderfully made person that is greater because of what we have been through. Sometimes this painful process can take a long time, but we have to hold on to hope. Phil 1:6 promises that He who began a good work in you will complete it.
Perhaps those of us who have been through the most pressure and the hardest trials are the ones whom the Lord intends to be the most brilliant and beautiful!
1. Smithsonian Magazine, December 2006
2. Natural History Magazine, May-June 1921
3. Precious Stones Guide Vol 2, 2004