You can stand in FAITH when God allows the UNTHINKABLE!
"You do not realize now what I am doing, but LATER you will understand." (John 13:7)
A number of years ago the most magnificient diamond in the history of the world was found in an African mine. It was then presented to the King of England to embellish his crown of state. The King sent it to Amsterdam to be cut by an expert stonecutter. Can you imagine what he did with it?
He took this gem of priceless value and cut a notch in it. Then he struck it one hard time wtih his hammer, and the majestic jewel fell into his hand, broken in two. What recklessness! What wastefulness! What criminal carelessness!
Actually, that is not the case at all. For you see, that one blow with the hammer had been studied and planned. Drawings and models had been made of the gem. Its quality, defects, and possible lines along which it would split had all been studied to the smallest detail. And the man to whom it was entrusted was one of the most skilled stonecutters in the world.
Do you believe that blow was a mistake? No, it was the CAPSTONE and the culmination of the stonecutter's skill. When he struck that blow, he did the one thing that would bring that gem to its most perfect shape, radiance, and jeweled splendor. The blow that seemed to be the ruin of the majestic precious stone was actually its perfect REDEMPTION, for from the halves were fashioned two magnificent gems. Only the skilled eye of the expert stonecutter could have seen the beauty of TWO DIAMONDS hidden in the rough, uncut stone as it came from the mine. Sometimes, in the same way, God lets a stinging blow fall on YOUR life. You bleed, feeling the pain, and your soul cries out in agony. At first you think the blow is an appalling mistake. But it is not, for you are the most precious jewel in the world to God. And He is the most skilled stonecutter in the universe. Someday you are to be a Jewel adorning the crown of the King. (Malachi 3:17 NIV) As you lie in His hand now, He knows just how to deal with you. Not one blow will be permitted to fall on your apprehensive soul except what the love of God allows.
In this life, we have an incomplete view of God's dealings, seeing His plan only half finished and underdeveloped. Yet once we stand in the magnificent temple of eternity, we will have the proper perspective and will see everything fitting gracefully together!
Imagine going to the mountains of Lebanon during the reign of Israel's great King Solomon. Can you see the majestic CEDAR? It is the pride of all the other trees and has wrestled many years with the cold north winds! The summer sun has loved to smile upon it, while the night has caused its soft leaves to glisten with drops of dew. Birds have built their nests in its branches, and weary travelers and wandering shepherds have rested in its shade from the midday heat or taken shelter from the raging storms. And SUDDENLY we realize that this old inhabitant of the forest has been doomed to FALL VICTIM TO THE WOODMAN's AX!
We watch as the ax makes its first gash on the cedar's gnarled trunk. Then we see its noble limbs stripped of their branches as the tree comes crashing to the ground. We cry out against the wanton destruction of the "TREE OF GOD," as it is distinctively known, and express our anger over the demolition of the proud PILLAR in the forest temple of nature. We are tempted to exclaim with the prophet Zechariah, "Wail, O pine tree, for the CEDAR HAS FALLEN...!" (Zechariah 11:2), as if inviting the sympathy of every less-majestic plant and invoking inanimate things to also resent the offense.
We should not be so quick to complain but should follow the gigantic tree as the workmen of "Hiram King of Tyre" (2 Chron.2:3) take it down the mountainside. From there we should watch it being sailed on rafts along the blue water of the Mediterranean. And finally, we should behold it being placed on a glorious and polished BEAM in the TEMPLE of God in JERUSALEM! As you contemplate its final destination, seeing it in the HOLY OF HOLIES as a JEWEL in the diadem of the almighty King, can you honestly complain that this "Crown Jewel of Lebanon" was cut down, removed from the forest, and placed in such a noble setting? The cedar had once stood majestically in nature's sanctuary, but "the GLORY of this present house will be GREATER than the GLORY of the former house." (Haggai 2:9)
Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a CORN OF WHEAT fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it DIE, it bringeth forth MUCH FRUIT. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall KEEP it unto LIFE ETERNAL." Selah!