Look at these cute little rocks!
A little shiny, but not too exciting, until you put them in a sunny windowsill:
Location matters!! Without light streaming from behind, they look like ordinary shiny rocks. Nothing too special. Put them in the right spot, and behold the beauty found in each one!
We gathered these rough garnets from a stream in the mountains of New York when we visited with friends a few years ago.
Garnet is a mineral most commonly found in metamorphic rock, which started out as sedimentary rock that was put under intense heat and pressure.
Doesn’t that sound like what we go through in life sometimes? Extremely difficult circumstances can seem to change us from the inside out. We’re no longer who we used to be, but we’re not sure who we are now. We wonder how this new identity fits into the world at large.
Then one day the light hits and we say, “Aha!”
I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.Isaiah 45:7 NLT
We begin to realize God had a plan all along, a way to display his handiwork in just the right setting. We can look back and see how trials led to strength, from which we can now reach out in love to help others going through similar circumstances.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:3-5
We begin to shine His light into the world around us brighter than ever before.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.Jesus, in Matthew 5:14-16
Are you in the throes of a terrible trial? Hang in there, my friend. Grab hold of Jesus and press into his presence. Find his peace beyond understanding, and trust that he has a plan and purpose for the pain. One day you’ll see the light streaming through your life to touch someone else and truly make a difference in their life.
Are you through the trial, but wondering who you are on the other side? Keep your eyes on Jesus, and wait for his perfect timing and setting. The light will dawn, and you will be amazed at how he uses you to bring beauty and joy to someone who has been lost in the darkness for far too long.