The other day I was talking to a brother in Christ who had the signs of weathering on his soul and frame. Like me, he has been widowed. He has tasted both triumph and defeat. Yet, like me, he is still standing. Ready to take on the next challenge or challenger as the case may be, while relentlessly advancing the kingdom of God.
You see, it takes a steely resolve to stand strong in these days, and all the more in the days soon upon us. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
As I listened to my friend speak, I saw an image that spoke volumes to me and I felt to share it with you today. I saw him as a stone. (Didn’t Peter say we are “living stones”?) Not just any stone mind you, but more like what you see below…
It is a Purple Uruguay Amethyst (my wife's birthstone). The amazing thing about these stones is that they are rough and unattractive on the outside.
They were formed out of great upheaval (volcanic activity) and hollowed out. But that hollowing out that came as a result of the fiery trials, created a space within for amazing beauty to be formed over time.
That beauty is a result of silica, iron and water working together with gamma rays which emit non-visible light. Let's look very briefly at these four components...
This is basically, sand and God compared Abraham's future seed to sand. According to Galatians 3: 29, "If
you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." In addition to silica, there must be something else very important...
Here's something you may not know... In Psalm 105:18, speaking of Joseph's time in prison, the Young's Literal Translation reads... "They have afflicted with fetters his feet, Iron hath entered his soul." As I said above, we need a steely resolve to stand strong in these days. A iron-like strength of character was forged in Joseph, entering his soul during his wrongful incarceration where no one knew his name or cared about his plight.
But it was all preparation for an extraordinary work ahead that he could not foresee.
Are you getting this? Can you perhaps relate?
Then there is a third element necessary to form this royal purple crystal inside the stone...
Water is a type of two things in Scripture... Ephesians 5:26 talks about the "washing of the water by the Word" and Jesus said those who believed in Him would receive the Holy Spirit which would flow out of them like rivers of living water. (John 7:38-39) After we have been hollowed out by the fiery trials of life, and Christ comes into our heart, the interaction of the water, sand and iron go through one more process...
Enter your text here...W
Gamma rays are a form of non-visible light that technically speaking, enable us to observe known objects in a new way, and they reveal phenomena never before seen.
Imagine that... an invisible form of light interacts with sand, water and iron to change its appearance into something beautiful. Metaphorically speaking, once you have gone through your current trial, if you allow the Word to have its work, you will not only be different, but you will see things much differently as well.
Isn't that what happens after you emerge out of some difficult situation? You see it (and life) from an entirely new light or perspective.
While others may see you as a rough and unworthy rock, God is at work on the inside forming the most beautiful and totally unique work for His purpose and glory. Don't let others define you as unworthy or insignificant. They haven't been on your journey. They don't know how you've been hollowed out and how God is remaking you on the inside to be a vessel of honor "for the display of His splendor" (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)
You, like me, are a work in progress. As it says in James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
Stay strong. Pursue God. Ignore the naysayers.
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Beautiful Michael! We appreciate the encouragement to stay strong, be patient and allow God to continue to form something beautiful out of our lives!
Thank you Andrew for taking the time to share your encouraging response!
So timely Micheal, this encouragement. Many need to be reminded, we are work in progress. But God have us in the Palms of His Hand.
So true Jamilah… Thank you for posting your comment. You’re a blessing!
Simply profound!! I must read this again!!
Thank you Kenneth… Be sure to check out the video I did in the Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/jesusschoolofbusiness
Thank you for the pearls of wisdom! Or in this case, the amethyst of wisdom! Awesome insights. I love how God uses the natural to explain the spiritual.
You’re a blessing Mike! Thank you for posting!
A beautiful way to start the day Michael.
Thank you Bea! As you know, this is Judy’s birthstone! Bless you and thank you for posting!
Amen! God is preparing us to be His bride in His eternal Kingdom!!!
Indeed David! Thanks for posting!
This is exactly where I am, what I needed, what God is doing. And my birthstone! Lol. So beautiful, exciting, encouraging and wonderful confirmation!! So glad I didn’t just delete! Thank you so much!! I will read it many times over the coming weeks in sure!
Hi Dawn… We all get so much unwanted email or even good email that we don’t have time to read. So glad you did this time. I will try to make sure, you always get worthwhile email from us. Blessings!
Michael, thank you for that analogy of a geode. I have one of those on my living room bookcase. Using your analogy has given me new food for thought. The amethyst coloring is also my birthstone.
Seeing a geode on the ground is not very thought provoking. It is rather plain. Like a lot of us, we
look plain on the outside, but God is working a thing of beauty within us as He shares His Wisdom,
Love, Mercy and Grace. Man sees the outside, but God sees our hearts. Go God!!!
Great thoughts Joyce! I was wishing I had one of those myself so I could show it. However, there are some amazing shots inside the video I’m about to post in the JESUS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Facebook group that you might enjoy, including heart shaped amethyst.https://www.facebook.com/groups/jesusschoolofbusiness
Great blog, how true it is that we are all a work in progress, no matter the difficulties or heartache Our Daddy God does a deep an mighty work on the inside! We are precious Gems being brought to the light from the inside out! All Glory to Almighty God and King Jesus Christ 🙏
Thank you Lorraine for posting your comments! Great word of encouragement for all! Blessings, Michael
Love your heart for people and love for the Truth!
Thank you Robert… You know this story all too well my friend!
Great advice Michael. Thank you. And great insight. What a beautiful stone….
Thank you Marlene. It is indeed a very special stone.
Thank you Michael, wow I’ve never seen this shared quite this way. It’s so insightful and also very encouraging to keep our eyes UP on Him, not on the circumstances.
Thank you Kim… I have added a video since you read this post, that shows a few amazing pics.
Wow, brother, I receive this joyfully for myself. Just earlier today, I did the ‘unthinkable’. I extended forgiveness to my father who is almost 95 years old who I doubt will ever ask for or acknowledge a need for forgiveness. I have in past asked his forgiveness, which I felt was grudgingly given. As a matter of fact, he initially deflected my offer as is his habit, but I brought him back to it, and pointedly asked “will you accept that I have forgiven you”? – there was no need to articulate the almost innumerable things done to us and our mother (blessed memory). He replied with words I never thought I’d hear in this or any other life time “I am pleased to accept it” !!! What you have to know is what it took for God to get ‘me’ to where I could do this, due to the hardness of my heart towards a violent abuser… Yes, HE Is making a beautiful amethyst out of me and yes, I do believe I will shock everyone one day with the transformation He’s doing in my life because He Who has begun a good work will complete it – HALLELUYAH!!!
Thank you and God Bless you Michael for this article. I am sharing with others too.
Wow Barb! What a powerful story! Thank you for sharing!
Truly, this is a message for the season. Thank you Michael. I was just reading and meditating on the word of God. “I am building up my church and the gates of hell will not prevail over it”. How wonderful to hear from you that God is at work on the inside forming the most beautiful and totally unique work for His purpose and glory. We are indeed work in progress and will end up for the Glory of God. Here, I say, God, have your way.
Thank you Josephine for your insightful comments! Blessings, Michael
I love your article! I have gone through a horrific family attack that the enemy tried to take me out over BUT GOD! The one attacking I cried out to the Lord about, decreed over this one with God’s word, tried to stay humble in the process (very difficult at times but God was feeding me manna) and lo and behold, He set a rare London Blue Topaz stone before my eyes. I had it appraised then set into a sterling silver bezel and gave it to my attacker as a Dec. birthday gift, which fits the stone for that month! God is good ALL the time!
Wow Sandy… Clearly God is working in you and through you.
Thank you for sharing that. What a great example!
Great insight that God has given you. Yes God is always doing a work inside of us that others do not often see. Blessings. Lindsay
Indeed He is! Thank you for commenting Lindsay!
Bless you my brother! Thanks for posting!
Love it love it love it!!!
Thank you Wendy!
This makes all of our trials worth going through. My recent back injury was not what I had planned the summer but FATHER has used this time to teach me how I am dependent moment by moment on HIS Grace. Thank you Bro. Michael for posting this.
From glory to glory, we travel on.
Bless you my friend Ken!
Thanks for posting a comment!
This encouraged me. Yes His Word is at work in me, and i will see thru His eyes. Thankyou Michael.
You’re most welcome Rhondy. Thanks for commenting!
Awesome! I felt the moving of the Holy Spirit ✝️
Me too Brenda. Thanks for sharing!
Michael, thank you for this word. It is very encouraging to me with all God has been taking me through in the last six months. You mentioned the ‘royal purple’ color. This really spoke to me too, as the Word says we are ‘a royal priesthood’. Thank You Lord.
Thank you Bill for letting me know!
This really resonates with me. There is so much upheaval in my life in this season and sometimes I wonder where is God, but it is beautiful to know that in the midst of all life’s upheavals, He is working things out for my good and for His glory. The same storm that comes to shake us, will also make us stronger for having survived it. To God be the glory!
You are strong Gloria. God made you that way. Keep trusting Him.