Have you ever noticed an object that shines? And I mean, really shines? I’m not talking about your friend that got a really solid spray tan in the winter from a Groupon she stumbled upon. I’m talking about a radiant, cannot be hidden or mistaken for anything but God’s goodness kind of shine.
Around this time last year, my boyfriend (now husband) asked me to join him in a lifetime of adventure, unknowns, and a God-given covenant. Saying yes was the easiest choice I ever made. I remember the moment he slipped the ring on my finger. It was the most beautiful symbol of love I had ever seen. That ring represented and still does today a commitment to sacrificially serve, seek to understand, and believe the best in each other as long as we both shall live. It didn’t hurt that it was pretty easy on the eyes, too.
It was a rainy New Year’s Eve day in Texas, but my ring didn’t fail to bring an unexplained brightness to our night as we celebrated our future together with our families. We welcomed all that the New Year and our new life together had in store for us.
As adulting would have it, the memorable weekend ended and Monday was calling my name. I returned to my job, took a seat at my desk, and attempted to wrap my head around all that had happened and the changes that were coming for me this year. I was “afraid yet filled with joy” as described in Matthew 28. I decided to take a quick walk before the demands of the day crowded my mind.
It was still early in the morning, but as the sun was rising, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day. I was soaking in this quiet moment when something amazing happened. I looked down at my ring and it just about took my breath away. The light from the sun was hitting my ring and the brilliant shine that appeared was one I hadn’t seen over the weekend. Not only did it have a new glow, the reflection of the ring shone in what seemed like endless directions. The morning sky seemed to reveal a deeper dimension, one that was there all along, but I hadn’t seen it.
I later discovered that there are three factors that work in unison to give diamonds their trademark shine: reflection, refraction, and dispersion.
Reflection is the process of light hitting the diamond surface and immediately bouncing back. Then the light goes deeper into the diamond, reaching into the corners and ridges and filling those spaces with illumination. This is the refraction phase. Once refraction is completed, the light reaches beyond the diamonds interior and meets our eyes with a shine and that is called the dispersion. The shine created is radiant and multidimensional to the human eye and creates an internal awe that captivates the human heart.
Friends, let us look to this process and consider what it means for us in light of the gospel.
First, the light of Christ will affect us. In John 8:12 (NIV) Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is a promise from Jesus that says whoever will let His light in will not be the same. Just like the reflection in a diamond, the light that He offers doesn’t have to be earned, but will be freely and immediately given to whoever is willing to walk into His presence.
Next, the light of Christ goes deeper. The complete understanding and depth of who Jesus is will be a lifelong journey for me, but one thing I can tell you is Jesus is not interested in a one-time interaction. You are far more precious to Him than a quick, “Hello, nice to meet ya.” No, He is interested in YOU. You on your good days, your bad days, with your past hurts, your habits, your quirks and your fears. Jesus, by essence, is the Great Pursuer and He will never stop being just that toward you. God called Jesus to go after the one, and as hard as it is to believe this, you, my friend, are the one.
As Jesus’ light hits us, it will go into the cracks, corners, and hidden places of our life. Just as a refraction in a diamond causes light to not discriminate the dark places, Jesus will not discriminate the dark places either. He doesn’t have a threshold of how dark is too dark. In fact, He welcomes those places all the more. He is eagerly waiting for the opportunity to debunk this very lie in your heart. That lie that says because of what you’ve done in the dark, He will withhold his love and be unwilling to qualify you by His light. He will reach deeper until His light reaches every dark place.
Lastly, the light of Christ will always create a shine in you. As you can see, there is a process to achieving a great shine. Psalm 34:5 (NIV) reveals, “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Jesus bids our hearts to come and look. Taste and see. Step out and experience. This daily relationship based on love and trust is what produces in and through us a shine that disperses His light from the inside out, just like in the last phase of a diamond’s shine. This shine acts as a declaration to the world that we have been given a newness of purpose and identity.
A life postured correctly in the light of Christ will be illuminated and bring to the surface what was always there.
You have always been seen.
You have always been loved.
You have always been lovely.
You have always been pursued.
Sometimes this is hard to believe because of things that have happened in our lives. Perhaps you’ve hidden sin and shame from God and others for a long time. You might think the decisions you’ve made have created a dull or damaged spirit disqualifying you from this radiant life. If that’s the case, God, and diamonds, have something to say about that.
Remember this about every shiny diamond you have ever “oohed” and “awed” over: even the shiniest diamonds are a collection of light and dark places. While this may seem like it would lessen the quality of the diamond’s beauty, it is actually the thing that illuminates the shine.
William Goldberg, a diamond expert, put it this way: “It’s like a candle; the flame always appears brighter in a dark room than it does in a lighted room. It all comes down to contrast; a diamond without contrast might still shine just as much, but the shine would be significantly less impressive.”
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV), Paul lets us in on a word that Jesus gave to Him on this matter: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
The transformative work of Jesus is the recipe for a radiant shine. No more, no less. He wants to redeem the darkest places in your life and, over time, those will be the areas that will give Him the most glory. God gave us the image of Himself through Christ that we might believe, be restored in relationship with Him, and be healed.
The irony of a diamond’s shine is that, scientifically, it’s classified as a reflection rather than that of a shine. What beautiful, freeing news this is! Our shine is actually a reflection of His pursuit of us.
Find peace and rest in this, friends. Behavior modification is not needed for life change.
A.W. Tozer said it best; “When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is ‘Thou God seest me.’ When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of Good looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth.”
Reflect. Refract. Disperse. Repeat.
Morgan Krueger is the newest member of the LO Team and loves any opportunity to hear someones heart (or their enneagram number). In her free time she loves drinking coffee with friends, watching british baking shows, and dreaming big with her husband in Franklin, TN.
Follow Morgan on Instagram @morganwkrueger