Friday, September 14, 2001
My wife recently received a lovely, family heirloom, diamond ring. And she took it to the jeweler the other day so he could look at it with that magic eye that jewelers have. As he looked at it under magnification, he let out a curious "hmmm." He told her that the diamond had a fracture in the middle of it, invisible to the naked eye, which caused her to ask how there could be a fracture in the middle. Why didn't it go all the way across the diamond? Mr. Jeweler gave a very interesting explanation. He basically said that while some diamonds are developing, some underground disturbance - maybe a quake or a tremor - causes the diamond to crack. But apparently some diamonds continue to develop anyway. Like the one we have. It was fractured, but it didn't stop growing!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Fractured, But Growing."
Actually, that isn't just true of diamonds. There are people like that. Maybe you. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 6:9-10. It's an account of a lot of life-trauma and a man who was fractured, but, well, just listen. He says, "We were dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." Paul here models being a believer who may get beaten up but refuses to get beaten down; who takes a lot of hits, but refuses to be knocked out. Like our diamond, you may be fractured, but you don't have to stop growing.
Tragically, a lot of people do. Their growth stops with the trauma. And there's no denying the damage done when you get hit by a major life-trauma. A divorce, losing your job, losing someone you love, losing your health, a major injury, a depressing setback, a breakup, abuse, dealing with pain from your past. Things like these are major blows, and the hurt is deep and long-lasting. There is very real fracture. The question is: Will you stop growing now?
The same Apostle Paul who experienced a bombardment of life-traumas is the one who said in Romans 8:37, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." You don't get to choose whether or not the trauma hits you, but do choose whether or not it will be what you focus on the rest of your life - whether you focus on your identify, your attitude. So many people never get back up. They just sort of sleepwalk from the fracture-point on, and they quit developing spiritually, interpersonally, mentally, emotionally.
But, because of God's Holy Spirit living in you, there is no life-trauma that is insurmountable, that has to define the rest of your life. But it takes a sanctified stubbornness on your part that says, "The fracture is there, but my life is not over. Even if I don't feel like it right now, I'm going to aggressively pursue God's plans for my future. I'm going to dig into things that will enlarge the difference I can make in the years I have left."
Like Paul, you commit yourself to that realistic, but buoyant approach to life that is "dying, yet we live on; beaten, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." (2 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Through the eye of a jeweler, we have seen a diamond that didn't let a fracture keep it from becoming more and more beautiful. By God's awesome grace, be a diamond that may be fractured, but will not stop growing!