Unattractive Wrappings...the diamond within

   Have you ever been at a Christmas party where there is a white elephant gift exchange? Does anybody really know what one of those is anyway? Is it a joke gift, a used gift, or a gift under $10?  Regardless, when I chose a gift, I usually go for the one with the nicest wrapping. But, that’s not always a good indication of what’s inside. Often times it will be an old sock or a broken coffee mug.  But with the Lord, its often the other way around…ugly, detestable wrapping with a beautiful priceless gem on the inside.
This is the case with diamonds. They are found in the rough, meaning that they are unpolished and their beauty is unseen. They appear in their natural form as an ugly grey stone that most people would skip right over. They haven’t reached their full potential and only a skilled craftsman can see the beauty of the rough grey stone.  
I recently read about the discovery of the  most magnificent diamond in the history of the world. It was found in an African mine, and presented to the king of England to embellish his crown.  The King sent it to Amsterdam to be cut by an expert stonecutter. The expert took the stone of priceless value and cut a notch in it. Then he struck it one hard time with his hammer, and the majestic jewel fell into his hand, broken in two.
Most of us would look at this act as careless and foolish, but what we fail to see is that the expert studied and planned for days, even weeks how exactly with one blow of the hammer he would create not only one, but two magnificent stones. Only in the hands of a skilled professional could this be accomplished. The highly skilled stonecutter saw what others couldn’t see. He saw the full potential of the diamond. He saw that deep within the diamond were actually two priceless stones on not just one.
Likewise, the Lord alone can see our full potential. He sees a diamond in the rough and what's really on the inside. He allows a stinging blow to fall upon us. We feel the pain and agony of discomfort, we think; “this must be a mistake”, but it’s not. God allows discomfort and pain to form us into the most precious jewels in the world, for He is the most skilled stonecutter in the universe.  And one day, when He’s done with His chiseling and hammering,  we’ll be a beautiful jewel adorning the crown of the King of Kings. Hang in there if you are in the midst of some discomfort today...know that the Master Craftsman is making you into something only He can see, something very  beautiful...a refection of Himself. "I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. Trust Him...He knows what He's doing!