A few months ago I was having a conversation with a friend. She told me there was something she wanted to tell me but wasn’t ready yet to tell me. During the course of our conversation my friend said to me, “I’m concerned about you because you’re weak and I don’t want to see you taken advantage of or hurt and that’s all I’m going to say about it for now.”
After our conversation, I went home worried and upset, wondering what she had seen in me that would imply weakness. I was thinking about all the things I have been through in my life. I had always considered myself to be a pretty strong individual because I had dealt with so much over the years; an abusive, alcoholic father, spousal abuse, rape, infidelity, a husband who abused drugs, a child undergoing open-heart surgery, raising a mentally disabled child, raising a grandchild, and a husband working in Afghanistan in the middle of a war zone. This accusation of weakness without explanation was simply baffling to say the least.
Seeking answers and understanding I went into my closet, closed the doors and fell on my face in prayer asking the Lord to reveal this weakness to me. After praying I listened! This is what I heard: “In my Father’s Kingdom there are many jewels; rubies, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds. You are a diamond that must be refined and without blemish in order to fulfill the purpose for which the Father created you.” I thought, “Refined diamond?” I went to my computer and searched “refined diamonds”. A refined diamond is a diamond that undergoes a process of enormous stress by being subjected to intense heat and tremendous pressure to remove impurities and unwanted elements. It occurred to me that the events of my life, everything I had been through had been a part
of the refining process; a process to “remove unwanted elements”. Then I thought, “Without blemish?” Without blemish means perfection. No one is perfect! There is no way in the world anyone can be perfect and without blemishes.”
Later that afternoon I spoke with my friend again and asked her to explain why she considered me to be weak. She replied, “Alecia, you are one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. You have such a loving and giving heart and I’m concerned that your kindness will allow people to take advantage of you.” “Oh! Thank God!” I thought. If things like kindness, loving and giving are weaknesses then I’m okay with that! Those are weaknesses I can accept and live with. I had spent the majority of my day worrying about why my friend thought I was weak and she was actually complimenting me.
So many times we let the simplest of things worry us. Worry is not of the Lord. The devil wants us in a state of constant worry and turmoil because it keeps us distracted. However, instead letting it distract me, it got me on my face in communication with my Heavenly Father to receive a very important message from Him. I could have spent the entire day just worrying, instead I took it to the Lord seeking answers. His response was a double blessing: an answer from Him and compliment from my friend.
However, over the course of the past few months this “without blemish” issue has bothered me. I have processed its meaning so many times and felt defeated by it, realizing
there is no way I will ever be without blemishes as long as I am in this world. A few nights ago Steve and I were discussing it and I shared my thoughts with him. I told him the only conclusion I can come to is that I am required to live my life by walking a fine line, the camel through the eye of a needle kind of life while striving to be as much like Christ as I can possibly be each and every day.
Most days I feel more like the grain of sand or the irritant prior to entering the oyster or the mussel than I do a jewel of any kind. So many of us face enormous stress and pressure on a daily basis, sometimes to the point that we may feel defeated and want to give up. The mountains before us may seem far too high to climb. However, we must go on! We all
must remember that He loves us tremendously and “greater is He that is in me than he that is the world”. He has promised to never forsake us or abandon us. If we fail to complete the refining process, then we never become the beautiful jewels that each of us is meant to become.