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Diamond ~ derived from a Greek word meaning proper, unalterable, unbreakable.

A diamond is formed through intense pressure and high temperature, hidden in the depths of the earth. It’s rise to the surface comes through deep volcanic eruptions. The diamond is one of the hardest known natural materials on a scale of mineral hardness, where hardness is defined as resistance to scratching.  The more flawless and pure the diamond, the harder it is defined on the scale, and it cannot be scratched by any other material.

Let’s linger on the parallel between the formation of a diamond and the shaping of our hearts and character. The depth to our hearts and strength within us is formed from the deep, intense places we walk through in our journey. To walk through the valley, the deep dark place, sometimes feeling that we’ve stepped upon hell itself, is where we are shaped. When the fire rages round our soul, what’s in us rises to the surface. We find a strength within that carries us through. The day comes when we can turn around and see the path we’ve walked, and know that we are no longer the same. The dirt has been removed, impurities burnt away, and a resistance developed. Not a hardening of the heart, but the very opposite. As the heart softens, there’s a firm foundation developed in us that can only grow stronger. Our surface becomes untouchable by circumstances of life. No longer scratched by the elements that once threatened to destroy. 

Diamond’s don’t magically appear sparkling bright, they’ve journeyed from the core of the earth to the surface, often encased in a rock formation that must be cracked and broken to reveal it’s hidden treasure. Discovered only by those who are sent to rummage in the dirt with an eye trained to search for the stones, skilled to crush and break open the rock case. We ourselves are a product of this journey. There’s no instant transformation, but a daily walk of dwelling in grace and love.

To the unskilled eye, wading through the sludge would be pointless, only able to judge from the outside the precious casing for such a gem could never be identified. Many would pass by unnoticed, untouched. 

I’ve begun to read accounts of precious people from years gone by, saints, mystics, prophets…phenomenal people who’s hearts burned only with a passion for God, to know Him more. They didn’t fit the mould of traditional religious doctrine of their day, preferring the pursuit of communion with God and to love each person they met…whatever the cost.  These are people who had become so formed in their Creators image, that they stopped at nothing to get close to Him and to bring His love to others. They knew the cost and paid the price, ploughing forward through the darkest times, being the light in the valley. Judged by religious and political leaders, many of these incredible souls found themselves in torturous circumstances, their natural life ending in horrendous ways. All because people were so blinded and unable to stop and see their pure hearts.

I’m struck by how easy it is to get caught up in our own culture/society’s expectations and way of doing things that we no longer see the heart. How many times do we walk right past a treasure, hidden deep in a case of fear, hurt, shame, guilt…when we carry the tool of love that can break through that shell and release life. 

Man looks on the outside…God looks on the heart. My prayer is that we would cry out for purity, to see with eyes that look past the natural, refusing to be bound by religion, but having hearts fuelled with a holy passion for Jesus. Equipped to walk through life being formed and shaped, knowing strength…and freely giving this to declare liberty to captives. As we reflect on our own journey and walk with the Lord, let’s become more like the diamond…unbreakable…unalterable. 

May we be willing to step out, walk through the sludge and search out treasure, with eyes wide open, able to distinguish the diamond in the dirt, ready to reach down and lift it out. Equipped to love, love, love and see love formed in them.