I sit in the case beside the most beautiful stone in the store. The sign between us says, “Before and After.” The customers pass by, grimacing at me but smiling at the beautiful stone. I know it’s his fault. If he weren’t so beautiful, I would get more smiles. And the manager is to blame as well. If he would redirect the lights properly then I could better display my facets. And surely if that sales lady would hang me on a necklace or some earrings I would shine.
Later that month the jeweler opened the case, removed the sign, scooped me up and placed me on a dark mat in the back. He shined a very bright light on me then proceeded to cut me very slowly and carefully over and over again. I lost count but it must have been nearly sixteen times! I have to say it was a very long and painful process.
After all that, he began polishing me. And he didn’t stop until I become so hot I thought I would melt! Then he placed me on another mat and I sat there forever it seemed.
Today I stand on display right next to the most revered stone in the store. Except that now, guess what? I, too, am refined and beautiful. My facets catch every ray of light in the store and throw them out to dance brilliantly all around. Everyone who enters the store enjoys the beauty.
And to think, that all that time I actually believed that my darkness was because of others. If only I had known that I just needed to spend some time in the jeweler’s hands.
But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
“Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.