Philippians 1:6: “being confident in this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”
“Come quickly and look at what I found!”
I rushed over from across the field to see what Amy had found. I was at a diamond park with my friend Amy. She was an expert diamond hunter and I was tagging along with her for the day while she hunted. We spent hours searching and I was tempted to just give up and go home, but Amy kept on looking patiently.
Now, as I rushed across the field, Amy was holding up a huge black object. When I reached her, she excitedly exclaimed, “Look at this diamond I found!”
I studied the ugly object in her hands. A diamond? Could that ugly thing of dirt be a diamond?
Amy noticed my puzzled look and explained, “Of course, it doesn’t look like a diamond now. It looks like a big old stone. But, you watch; with lots of washing, chiseling, and shinning, this rock will be a beauty unlike anything you’ve ever seen. You just wait and see.”
I wasn’t completely convinced. I mean, the rock Amy held looked hopeless; it was caked with dirt and awfully out of shape. It seemed beyond repair. I shrugged my shoulders, “Whatever. I mean if you want to try and make something of that thing, go ahead. I sure wouldn’t want to waste my time on it, though.”
Amy just smiled. “Let’s get going,” she said, “I want to start working on this right away.”
For the next few weeks, Amy was obsessed with that rock. Every moment she could be found working patiently on her “prize” as she would affectionately call it. She labored endlessly. At times, it seemed that she was making no progress; the rock still looked ugly and dirty. I tried to tell her to just give up, that it just wasn’t worth all that work.
But Amy would just say, “I still working on it. It will perfect yet.”
And no mattered how stubborn the rock would be, Amy never gave up. She still loved that little rock as if it were her own child.
One day, after weeks and weeks of ceaseless work, Amy called me into her work room and showed me a sparkling, purely white, absolutely exquisite diamond.
I gasped, “Where did you ever get this?”
“This,” she said, “is the ugly, hopeless rock that I found in that field with you all those weeks ago.”
I stood there, gaping, “How in the world.....?”
“Oh, believe me,” Amy said, “This took a lot of work and much patience, but don’t you think it was worth it?”
Do you ever feel discouraged about your own sinfulness? In many ways, we are like that diamond. God found us hopelessly lost in sin, buried in the ugly dirt of our own flesh. He rescued us from our despairing state. He adopted us into His family. But we didn't become automatically perfect. We still are not perfect. We still have many faults and impurities. And many times we get discouraged about all our disobedience. We think, “Can we ever get anything right?” We must remember that God is still working on us. He is still patiently molding, shaping, and cleaning us of our sin. His purpose for everything in our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). We need to let Him work and not try to be good on our own. We must remember that apart from Christ we are nothing. He is our righteousness.
So, the next time you are discouraged about your sin, take a deep breath and surrender yourself to the mighty hand of God. Don’t fight His hand as He molds you - even though His proddings may hurt. Remember that He has promised to complete the good work which He has started in you. One day, you will be sinless before His throne. Praise the Lord!