I posted a song earlier this week about how God refines us through life’s trials. It’s called ‘Diamonds’ by Hawk Nelson.
The first verse says:
Here and now I’m in the fire
In above my head
Being help under the pressure
Don’t know what’ll be left
But it’s here in the ashes
I’m finding treasure
The course says:
He’s making diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in His timing
He’s making diamonds out of us
I find myself coming back to this concept time and time again.
How many times and how many ways have we heard that hardship makes us stronger? It’s the message of many good songs, books, movies and fairy tales. It’s what our parents told us. There’s a basic truth in the concept that resonates deep within us. It sounds sensible and right and good, doesn’t it?
I think the honest answer to that depends on whether the trials are happening to you or someone else. From what perspective are you looking? Did things turn out in the end? Have you come through the other side with enough distance to bring clarity or are you still in the midst of the flames, smoke stinging your eyes?
Are you in the midst of a divorce? Bullying? Unemployment? Infertility? Depression? Cancer?
Can you see a light at the end of the tunnel?
These hard seasons in life often define us. Can we also look at them and see how they refine us?
I don’t know about what you may be facing today but I would never have chosen to get terminal cancer, but I can’t deny that it is undeniably changing me and my perspectives in ways I never could have imagined.
Character is built from experience. Paul lays this out in Romans 5: 3-5 when he writes
“…we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
It is in our weakness that God is able to move. He is able to work in our hearts to change us from the inside out. Something powerful happens when we let Christ refine our character. The layers of self are stripped away and we are left as someone better.
This is my prayer for all of us today – in the midst of life’s most painful and difficult times, that we are able to feel God’s love, absorb it and become transformed into diamonds who shine with character and purpose.
Dr. Kimberly Trites is a wife, mother, OBGYN and follower of Jesus who was diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer in January 2016. She and her husband founded Well Christian Woman in the spring of 2016.