Heart of Diamonds

Like a diamond, my heart has many facets. God used that image to teach an important lesson yesterday. He has been cutting away at my heart for decades, and sometimes the pain is more than I can bear. Yesterday, He showed me His handiwork on my heart, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. God has always seen what I could not when it comes to my heart. I’ve made many mistakes in regard to love, but God is love and knows what He’s doing when it comes to love and hearts. He continued to cut and polish even when I resisted.  The beauty of a well-cut diamond is that it becomes more beautiful as it is turned and held up to the light. My heart was turned all around yesterday in God’s light, and I saw love, hope, peace, and joy beyond anything I could have imagined on my own.

According to Wikipedia, when it comes to shaping diamonds, “Cut does not refer to shape (pear, oval), but the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond. The cut of a diamond greatly impacts a diamond’s brilliance; this means if it is cut poorly, it will be less luminous.” I understand and appreciate that more after yesterday:)

The scriptures this week are from Hebrews 4:12-16

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

When I’ve read those scriptures, I have always imagined God with His scalpel cutting away at my heart in a loving and skillful manner. That is a beautiful image and one that is accurate given that the Greek word for two-edged sword in the passage is similar to a scalpel. I know the wedding today is all part of the image involving a diamond. In the hands of a master diamond cutter, a rough piece of worthless rock becomes a priceless masterpiece. In the wrong hands, a priceless jewel becomes a pile of useless dust. I’m thankful God knows what He is doing. His love has a precision that the world’s best diamond cutter envies.

God sees beauty where I cannot. He’s been carefully cutting and polishing my heart for sixty years. He placed it in the perfect setting yesterday and bid me to take a look. As He held my heart up for me to see, I saw love all around in the faces of my family, and I also saw Him in the beautiful mountains that I know He made just for me. He was waving and smiling broadly everywhere I went yesterday. I love it when He shows off, and He definitely did that in a big way yesterday. We all love seeing our handiwork and want others to see it too. God is no exception:)

I thought you might think I was exaggerating, so I’m including a photo:) Can you see God in the background? He’s always there, but sometimes I don’t notice. Can you imagine that?

 

Ordinary Time

In the Christian calendar, the time that falls outside the distinctive liturgical seasons is known as Ordinary Time. There are 33-34 weeks of Ordinary Time which fall between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent. In Latin it’s called Tempus Per Annum or time throughout the year. The term comes from the word “ordinal,” which simply means counted time and has nothing to do with the ordinary or mundane.

As I went through the busy day yesterday, I thought about how my own time is counted. I go from season to season much as the church calendar does, but it is the time in between those busy seasons that make up most of my life. Talking with a friend, sharing a meal, playing with the girls, reading, and writing would be considered ordinary time in my life.

Counting time is a big part of my life. Counting down from one holiday or special event to another is very like that liturgical calendar, but I miss the ordinary time in life if I focus upon counting down. When it comes to my calendar, the ordinary time is the most precious time of all, and I mean that in an ordinary and mundane way.  I understand the concept of the liturgical calendar and use it as I study and pray; but when it comes to living my life, I plan to make sure I develop a deeper appreciation of that ordinary time between special events.

Holidays and special events cause many to sink into a state of despair and depression. I think everyone can relate to that or to the post celebration blues that follow a special day. I thank God for the celebrations on the liturgical calendar and on my own, but I pray that I will gain a greater appreciation for the ordinary time in both and be mindful of how I wait for God. How I wait is entirely up to me, and I can smile if I remember that God has me in the palm of His hand. I rarely remember that when I’m marching off on my own. Mylah learned to march this week, and her goose step is hilarious:) I go off with my own goose step, and I am thankful that God sees the humor in my marching around as I see it with Mylah’s. Even Lillyann had to belly laugh when she saw her little sister’s serious stepping:)

Joy takes on a new meaning as I learn patience in waiting and understand that suffering is an important part of the process of finding the fundamental joy that so differs from the ha ha happiness I often seek and the Pollyanna joy that can lead to the deepest despair of all. The deep joy God has in mind is not lighthearted happiness that comes from circumstances or pretending all is well but rather a fundamental joy that comes from the overwhelming sense that God’s hand is holding me always. I don’t truly get that until I am made aware that I’m not holding myself.  That’s where suffering enters in. As I come to that level of learning, I can smile knowing that He knows me and I truly know Him. That is what joy is all about.

Suffering teaches obedience, and obedience leads to joy. A simple path, but one on which I am given the choice of coming to know God and finding His joy or turning my back on Him and blaming Him for my hurt. There are times when I wish I didn’t have the choice; but then I realize that choice is what leads to joy and knowing God intimately, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.