Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
Well, one morning long ago there was someone who started his day by shoveling dirt. This is certainly not my idea of a great day. But he was searching. He shoveled and he shoveled for most of the day. The next step was to sift though the dirt. This involved hauling the dirt and mud down to the river. But it would be worth it because he was searching. As he sifted through the dirt now and then he would find what looked like gray stones. To most they would appear worthless. However he knew better for he was searching.
He was searching for something of great value. A value so rare the world had yet to see.
He took those gray, average looking stones and he began to rub them gently yet firmly against the screen of the sifter. After rubbing for a while he would then rinse them in the river. If this job was left to me I donít think I would have ever seen the sense in doing all this work. But he kept on rubbing and rinsing. It was worth it all because he was searching.
Slowly the harden earth that had impacted around the stones began to soften. Some of the dirt even fell away. This overjoyed him and he continued to rub and wash. He knew this was a long process
But this is what he loved.
If you and I could look in his scared up hands, we would see these stones. Wow, can you see it? Look closer. More of the dirt has fallen away and there is red showing through in some places.
Can you believe it after all the searching, the rubbing and rinsing? He was close to uncovering the valuable and rare ruby. There was still a lot of work. But when all of this is done this ruby would be priceless.
I started this story with looking in the mirror. I asked what you see in yourself. I know that God searches through the earth and in you he has found a precious gem so rare and valuable.
Did you know that some of the rarest Rubies have what are called inclusions in them? That is just a fancy word for faults. When these faults are cut just right they produce a star in the ruby. Even God knows that no one is perfect. Yet, if you allow Him to bring out the ruby within, even your faults will become a star that testifies to Gods love.
I wrote this simply because you have been on my heart. I wanted you to see how valuable you are not only to God but also to those in your life. You have touched many peoples life. You have been a friend and a mentor to others. But despite all this, I donít think you see how beautiful you are. Not the kind of beauty that will fade, but the kind that last for eternity.
When you doubt these things remember. Look into His scarred hands. Look closer. Wow, can you see it!!
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