A Journal for Bible Teachers

The Greatest Diamond Cutter

The Greatest Diamond Cutter

“The hand of the Lord hath wrought this” (Job 12:9).

Several years ago there was found at Premier Mine, Cullinan (South Africa), the most magnificent diamond in the world’s history. It was presented to the King of England to blaze in his crown of state. The king sent it to Amsterdam to be cut. It was put into the hands of an expert diamond cutter. And what do you suppose he did?

The man to whom it was committed was one of the most skilful diamond cutters in the world. He took the gem of priceless value and cut a notch in it. Then he struck a hard blow with his instrument and the superb jewel lay cleft in two in his hand. Some may say, ‘what recklessness! What wastefulness! What criminal carelessness!’ Not so. For days and weeks that blow had been studied and planned. Drawings and models had been made of the gem. Its quality, defects, and lines of cleavage had all been studied with minutest care.

Do you say that blow was a mistake? No. It was the climax of the diamond cutter’s skill. When he struck that blow he did the one thing that would bring the gem to its most perfect shapeliness, radiance, and jewelled splendour. That blow, which seemed to ruin the superb precious stone, was, in fact, its perfect redemption. For, from those two halves were wrought the two magnificent gems which the skilled eye of the diamond cutter 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 an appalling mistake.

But it is not, for to God You are the most priceless jewel in the world and He is the most skilled diamond cutter in the universe!

Someday, you are to blaze in the diadem of the King. He knows just how to deal with you as you lie in His hand now. Not a blow will be permitted to fall upon your shrinking soul but that the love of God permits it, and works out blessing and spiritual enrichment unseen and unsought of by you. “Your heavenly Father knoweth…” (Matthew 6:32). God knows! God is Master and your Father!

A visitor at a school for the deaf and dumb was writing questions on the blackboard for the children. Question followed question. Then he wrote this sentence: Why has God made me to hear and speak, and you deaf and dumb? The awful sentence fell upon the little ones like a fierce blow in the face. They sat palsied before that dreadful ‘why’ and then a little girl stood up, her lip trembling and her big blue eyes swimming with tears. Straight to the board she walked, and picking up the chalk wrote with a firm hand these precious words: Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight! Touching? But what a reply! It reaches up and lays hold of an eternal truth upon which the maturest believer (as well as the youngest child of God) may rest securely – the truth that God is your Father. Did God use this little deaf and dumb child to answer a question never thought of in the visitor’s life? Did he realise that at the moment God answered that sentence written on the board? God is the skilled diamond cutter – He is also OUR FATHER.

One day the Lord spoke to me and I felt Him press hard against my side, and He said, “My child, wasn’t it written of Me…a bruised reed I would not break, nor a lightly smoldering flax I would not blow out? My child, I want to change and enlarge your understanding of Me.”

The Lord then gave me a vision of a little broken reed. He said, “I am not going to use My strength and power to reach down and snuff you out when you are in this bruised condition. Would I use My great power to break you off like that when there is a small flickering, smoldering match that is just flickering its last flame, would I blow and snuff it out? O look, understand that I will put strength in your stem.”

From that day on my strength increased. Though I had known the Lord from a youngster, my understanding of Him had been so imperfect that I had accused Him of trying to destroy me. God did not rebuke me. He spoke to me ever so gently and revealed to me the kind of compassion He uses in dealing with His children.

At every fresh encounter with God there is a refashioning by the Master Potter. At times like this the ‘bruised reed’ is made a pillar of strength: ‘…the feebly smoking flax…’ is made a mighty flame of fire in God’s hand. These are opposites, but they illustrate the transformation God has in mind for us.

 

From Failure to Victory

Obviously we can’t relive the past. God, by the prophet Joel, spoke a word of comfort to the children of Zion in Joel 2:23-26: “…I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer worm, My great army…” sent to purge and cleanse and fashion His people into his divine purpose. Oftimes God takes us through circumstances and trials. Although we may feel we have been ravaged, it is God who will restore and bring about His glorious purpose.

Isaiah 33:23 says: “…the lame take the prey.” This contradicts the rules of warfare. The coming visitation of Jesus will be so glorious that even those who appeared lame (the ‘bent reed’) will participate in His victory. Although God takes us through circumstances and we may feel ravaged by our experience, God will transform defeat and failure into victory.

 

Our Choice – Today!

It is possible for us to choose to be less than what God has purposed for us. We can choose His way, or take the second best. God has given us the power of choice. Our part is to yield to God. This is absolutely essential to our going on with Him. Rebellion and resistance will mar God’s precious work of remaking our lives. If we choose God’s second best, then God cannot do the work that He has planned with the ‘clay’ that is our life.

Today, God is calling us to yield to His purposes and dealings in our life, that He might remake us a vessel of honour.

 

A Tunnel of Trust

Even when our circumstances make it that we cannot understand what God is doing, by God’s grace we can say, “Lord, I trust Your love and wisdom.” We can be sure that in His time He will change the circumstance and reveal His on-going purposes. Each dealing God allows for additional molding and reshaping in days ahead.

Because of our limited knowledge of the future, we are not able to comprehend the position for which we are being trained, nor understand the full scope of ministry to which we have been called now, and in eternity. Instead, it is so easy for us to question God instead of trusting His love and wisdom (Isaiah 45:9).

Our circumstances may be such that we may feel surrounded by mountains, or that we face insurmountable odds. Be reassured, God knows the way through the mountain. He really does! He wants to bring us to the place where we are fully yielded to His hands, just like the clay that Jeremiah saw in the hands of the potter – yielded and ready to be refashioned.

A few years ago as we were teaching at Bible college in New York, the Lord graciously gave me a valuable object lesson. I was ill with pneumonia but continuing to teach. During each class I received a beautiful anointing and strength, but as soon as I went back to our apartment I would become weak and very wet with perspiration because of the fever. This continued for about two weeks, then one day in our little apartment I put a roll of papers, bound with a rubber band on the high, old-fashioned bed, and knelt down before the Lord and began to cry from a mixture of self-pity, pain, and wondering what the Lord was saying to me.

After a while it seemed that the Lord tapped me on the shoulder. My eyes were level with the bed and the Lord said, “Look!” And so I looked – right through the roll of papers. Then the Lord said, “My child, I don’t bring my children into caves, which have no way out, but I do bring them through tunnels.” Then He graciously proceeded to give me these beautiful truths about a tunnel.

The Lord showed me that there is just one disadvantage in a tunnel, it’s dark in there, and He said to me, “You’re afraid, aren’t you?” Through my tears I said, “Yes, I am.” And the Lord proceeded to show me the advantages of a tunnel.

We had lived in Switzerland and I knew how hazardous mountains could be. The Lord proceeded to explain how safe, sure, and short His mountain tunnel is. He said, “Firstly, a tunnel is safe. You don’t have to travel across icy slopes. You cannot fall in My tunnel. Secondly, it is shorter. A tunnel always shortens the route. Thirdly, it is sure. You cannot turn off. There is only one way to go in a tunnel.”

The next time He offers or directs you towards a ‘tunnel experience,’ realise it may be dark, but it is God’s way to get you to your destination much quicker, much surer, and more safely. With this understanding came a beautiful touch upon my life. I was also healed. This instruction has lasted through the years as my husband and I went through a few more ‘tunnels’.

 

Circumstances for Good

Perhaps you are conscious of having marred God’s early plan, the first ‘vessel’ that the Lord had shown to you. Somehow a past consecration to the Lord – a time when you know you did business with the Lord, when He heard your prayer and accepted you. Yet somehow you feel you have messed everything up. You feel your consecration has faded into the shadows. But Ecclesiastes says we cannot make a vow before God and say afterwards it was a mistake. Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you vow unto God, defer not to pay it.”

It is easy for us to quote Roman 8:28 to someone when they are feeling low, but in an hour of need, we can so easily forget this same truth and realise that all of the things through which we are passing are also working together for our good, if we allow them to, if we are called according to God’s precious purposes.

When we pass through a strange and unexplainable circumstance, if only we can wait quietly and without murmuring, the Lord will speak peace to our heart. He will help us understand that the very circumstance through which we are passing is actually working in us to bring to pass that which GOD has purposed – to manifest the lovely nature of Christ, for the glory and praise of the Lord. It is through this that the Master Potter is working with His hands to reshape the clay to ‘make it again another vessel as seemeth good to the potter.’

Remember, Jeremiah 18:4 said, “He made the vessel again.” It often seems that God must make us again.

If you have not yet passed through similar experiences, you will. When God brings you to these circumstances, remember that God has given you the ammunition to stand against the onslaught of the enemy when you feel you have failed. God will then help you remember again that He has promised He will make you again. As Jeremiah watched the potter remake the vessel, so too God the Master Potter, will take us as we yield to Him, and make us again ‘a vessel unto honour.’

 

Conclusion

God’s message to us is HOPE, just as it was to Israel in Jeremiah’s time. If we allow our precious Potter the liberty of working in our lives, He will work, because He has purposed to make us into vessels of honour. The only thing that can stand in His way is your nature and mine. God wants to overcome our ultimate resistance to what He wants to do.

Remember, what Mary said to the disciples, “Whatever He saith unto you, do it.” Ask God for forgiveness for the times you have been resistant to His dealings, or have failed Him, and immediately He will begin to refashion you. Reckon on and realise the mercy and faithfulness of God. We failed, yes. But He remains constant and true. Let God put you on the potter’s wheel again. The gentleness with which He works contrasts with the miraculous way He transforms a reed to a rock, as He did with Peter.

Isaiah 64:8 is a beautiful prayer, “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, Thou our Potter; we are all the work of Thy hand.”





About the Author

Mrs. Audrey Bailey is the late wife of Dr. Brian J. Bailey. She served in the ministry, with her husband, for over 30 years.

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