Text Illustrations
A BLOW TO A PRICELESS JEWEL


Many years ago, there was found in an African mine the most magnificent diamond in the world’s history. It was presented to the king of England to blaze in his crown or state. The king sent it to Amsterdam to be cut. It was put into the hands of an expert lapidary: a cutter, polisher, or engraver of precious stones usually other than diamonds.


And what do you suppose he did with it? He took the gem of priceless value, and cut a notch in it. Then he struck a hard blow with his instrument and--lo!--the superb jewel lay in his hand cleft in two.


Did he do this out of recklessness, wastefulness, and criminal carelessness? Indeed not! For days and weeks that blow had been studied and planned. Drawings and models had been made of the gem. Its quality, its defects, its lines of cleavage had all been studied with minutest care. The man to whom it was committed was one of the most skillful lapidaries in the world.


Was that blow a mistake? No! It was the climax of the lapidary’s skill. When he struck that blow, he did the one thing which would bring that gem to its most perfect shapeliness, radiance, and jeweled splendor. That blow which seemed to ruin the superb precious stone was, in fact, its perfect redemption. From those two halves were wrought two magnificent gems which the skilled eye of the lapidary saw hidden in the rough, uncut stone as it came from the mine.


Sometimes, God lets a stinging blow fall upon your life. The blood spurts; the nerves wince. The soul cries out in agony. The blow seems to you an appalling mistake. But it is not, for you are the most priceless jewel in the world to God. And He is the most skilled lapidary in the universe.


(From a sermon by Mark Elkins, Why Are You Living, 8/17/2010)

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