Pencil Or Diamonds | JoJo

In Blog, JoJo, NewPodcasts, Podcasts by Josh

One of my favorite stores is Hobby Lobby! I love being creative and crafty and I just love all the decorations and home decor. Not too long ago, I visited Hobby Lobby with my kiddos, my mom and grandmother. When we go into a store it never fails that we end up walking around looking for my grandma because she always runs off! The bad part is she never EVER hears her cell phone ringing, so we basically have to do laps around the store!

While shopping, I stumbled upon a metal diamond figure. You could hang it up somewhere or use it for decoration. I really liked it, but it was way more expensive than I could afford! So I took a picture of it and then never really thought about it again… until…

As I was flipping through my pictures in my phone one day, I saw the picture of the metal diamond figure. I wanted to transform it with this super cool photo app called Prisma. It changes pictures using different works of art! It was really awesome!
011717 diamond 01

As I was trying to create the picture, I was sitting in Sonic’s drive up window. I ordered a medium Reese’s Peanut butter cup blast – those are my favorite! But, the way I like them is with no whipped cream and extra Reese’s on the side because as you get to the bottom, the candy pieces get sparse. As I was about to take a bite of my blast and drive away, God reminded me of that diamond figure. Sitting in Sonic’s drive up window, God brought me to researching facts about how diamonds are made.

So what do we know about diamonds? They are:
Valuable
Expensive
Radiant
Beautiful
Shiny

But, here’s the thing, did you know that diamonds don’t start off all these things? Pretty interesting, huh?

So let’s look at where a diamond starts:
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known. They are formed under extreme temperature and pressure. (The temp has to be 1700-2400 degrees Fahrenheit.) That’s hot!! The pressure has to be 650,000-870,000 pounds per square inch. And all of this takes place 90-120 miles beneath the surface of the earth!

Unfortunately, we are like a diamond in the sense that we will go through “the fires of life” in order for us to become what and who God created us to be. Those fires reveal the true self within us. It will be a hard journey, but it is necessary to grow in God’s plan.

The diamond itself is essentially a chain of carbon atoms that have crystallized. The “hardness” is a result of the carbon chains that form the rock.

Let’s pause here for a second- before we come to Christ, our hearts are very hard, just like when a diamond is formed. We might have anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, hate, etc.. in our hearts making it hard for Jesus to come in.

“But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are.” Ezekiel 3:7-8

A diamond is found in a rock called kimberlite, but not all kimberlite contain diamonds. To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 TONS of earth have to be mined. Not all people on this earth are going to be called by God to do his work! Not everyone will be called to be a diamond but that’s because of your own free will and choice.

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14

“So this is the situation: Most of the people of Israel have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have—the ones God has chosen—but the hearts of the rest were hardened.” Romans 11:7

Carbon is the most common substances on the planet. This is important because in one form it is simple graphite used in pencils, but in its crystallized form, it takes the appearance as diamond. Does that blow anyone else’s mind!? The fact that something you think is insignificant- like a pencil- if crystallized, can become a DIAMOND! Wow!

That means we can become something new when we ask Christ to come into our hearts. Something valuable, something priceless. We start off as a pencil and when God takes control of our hearts and lives, the journey to become a diamond begins!

But here is what we have to remember, we have a choice. We can either embrace God’s call on our lives and become that diamond, or if we reject Him, we stay a pencil. The choice is yours.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NLT

When mining a diamond, It is sometimes necessary to reach the bedrock UNDERNEATH the gravel bed- or sometimes even BELOW the bedrock itself- in order to dig up diamond deposits. God reaches down and finds us in the murkiest of places. You think that God isn’t around when you are in the darkest times of your lives, but God can reach down through all of the dirt and rocks and filth to pull you up and turn you into someone who reflects his glory.

“For this is what the Sovereign lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations.” Ezekiel 34:11-12 NLT

Then comes the hard process of cutting and polishing a diamond. The pain of God cutting sins away from our hearts is a real thing and can be scary. Maybe you don’t understand why God would allow such things because the pain is too much to bare and too uncomfortable to deal with. It’s because he has his eye on what you can become through the work of His hand. Just like a jeweler, He sees what the finished product will be and the value in it. He sees the value even when others don’t. He sees what you can become in Him and how He can use your story to reflect his glory. The only way a diamond can reach its true God given potential is by undergoing the cutting and polishing. It’s not the most glamorous part of this process, but without this step, it would not be complete.

One of the reasons diamonds are so prized is because the light they absorb is reflected back outward, if the stone has been properly cut. When we accept Jesus into our hearts and live a life worthy and holy and acceptable in his sight, we shine for Jesus. It radiates from our core and we reflect the image of Christ. Just like this diamond! But the only way we can shine so brightly is if Jesus cuts away and removes the things in us that are not pleasing to his sight–the anger, the jealousy, the insecurities, the doubt, the fear, the worry, the depression–these are all things that stop us from truly shining and reflecting Jesus in our lives.

“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13 NLT

How long does the cutting process of a diamond take?
Diamonds can take hours or weeks depending on the size. Some famous larger diamonds can take years to cut! Here’s the thing, when God cuts away the sins and temptations from our hearts, it may take months or even years to overcome and rise above. We have to remember that everyone is different and we can’t compare ourselves to everyone else. Don’t look over at the fence of your neighbor thinking that you should be like them and why aren’t you happy yet or why aren’t you blessed, or why haven’t you kicked the thing that keeps holding you down. You must stay focused on what God has before you and what race YOU are running!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

You are now ready to shine bright and go into the world as a diamond!

I want to read a quote for you by Amy Basel:

“Purged from the world, Pierced by His word, and Pressed for His glory. You are now positioned for greatness. The diamond’s beauty and value far exceeds its originality before the process it had to endure to become what it is the day it is placed in a display case. God can now set you directly in the center of this broken and fragile world, knowing that you will radiate HIS love by leading others into His arms. Yet this time, you won’t blend in with the crowd, you’ll come out from among them and lead the crowd.”