James 1:2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. (VOICE – emphasis mine)
This probably dates me, but I remember an episode of the old Superman TV show in which he took a piece of coal in his hand and squeezed it until it became a diamond.
Hawk Nelson, a Christian music group from Canada, has a wonderful song out called “Diamonds.” (www.hawknelson.com) In the middle of the song are these lyrics:
He is refining in his timing He’s making diamonds out of us Oh the joy of the Lord It will be my strength When the pressure is on He’s making diamonds
When the stress and pressure of living with a person with a brain disorder, I just have to remember that as a Christian that God is allowing that stress and pressure to build your faith.
But here’s the catch. (I can hear you say, “I knew there was a catch!”) The first part of that statement in James says, “…if you embrace them…”
How do I embrace all of the negative stuff? Am I supposed to pretend that I enjoy it? Shall I have a party to celebrate? Of course not. Embracing it means that I surrender myself to whatever God allows in my life, that I recognize the value of it, that I don’t fight it, and that I always remember that He is using it to turn my life into a diamond.
You know, diamonds are a precious commodity, valued for their beauty. They are so strong that they are used for cutting.
In God’s eyes you are precious and valued. And in God’s hands you are stronger every day.