Thanks to social media I feel like a had a front row seat to many engagements over Christmas. Young ladies smiling from ear to ear with their hand extended showing the beautiful gem on their finger. An engagement is a magnificent occasion that is meant to be celebrated and new diamonds are a beautiful symbol of the occasion. We continue to be awed by the glimmering stones, but they didn’t start out looking that way; they were dug up out of the ground.
Dr. Tony Evan’s says it like this about a diamond engagement ring. “It was dirty. It had value. But the value wasn’t realized. It had to go through a process before it ever winds up on her finger. It had to go through some chipping, chiseling, cutting and shining. All of this before it wound up on the destiny of a finger. I know many of us have dreams of shiny lives and gold lives and magnificent lives, but God says, I cannot give you your destiny if you will not allow me to shape your character.”
This devotion by Tony Evans caught my eye because it was titled ‘Beauty in the Detour’. I feel that by now I should have a PhD in life detours. Since I devoted myself entirely to the Lord and seek His face daily, I have had so many detours that sometimes they feel more like major setbacks. But I have learned through all the crazy and unexpected detours that I am being shaped and refined for my good.
Like that dirty, rough diamond that came out of the ground, God has always seen value, but I must go through a process to get to my destiny. Every promise of God is absolute truth, but we don’t get promises served to us on a white tablecloth the moment we place our order. For every promise, there is a process. And like the process a diamond goes through, the process we go through to get to our destiny isn’t always pleasant.
Cleaving is the process where diamonds are used to cut one diamond into multiple pieces. I have also experienced a cutting away by the Master. He has cut away things that don’t belong, people that don’t belong, and perspectives and attitudes that don’t belong. It is a necessary step to remove that which stands between me and my destiny, albeit painful.
Bruiting is the most intensive process and takes the most time to perfect. Bruiting is the part of the process that shapes the diamond into a specific cut. I believe this is a lifelong process for believers. God continues to shape us because He is not just shaping us for our earthly destiny, but our eternal destiny. I pray that each year God shapes my character to look more and more like his.
Lastly, a diamond undergoes polishing. Without this step the diamond wouldn’t shine. Polishing allows the stone to reflect light which is one of the things we find most appealing about the stone. God polishes us to reflect His light. See, when we are filled with the fire, brilliance, warmth and beauty of the Lord, then we shine no matter what the detour because God’s light is reflected in our weakness. In this upcoming new year, give God freedom to cut, shape and polish you to move you toward your destiny.
This is what God’s says your detour-to-destiny looks like: Poor Jerusalem, storm-tossed, and not comforted. I will set your stones in black mortar, and lay your foundations in lapis lazuli. I will make your fortifications out of rubies, your gates out of sparkling stones, and all your walls out of precious stones. Isaiah 54: 11-12.