Our family is currently living through some very disappointing circumstances. A family member has left us to find what was missing in his life, leaving us missing him. The funny thing is, in the midst of our grief, God has given us beauty. We have experienced His love in some very tangible ways. His strength has given us peace, and a knowing that He does not intend to destroy us. His goal is good, bringing spiritual growth through a stronger and more focused relationship with Him.
I wrote this a few years back and thought it appropriate to share again. Perhaps you have received a bit of coal in your life recently. Before you judge its meaning, think about what it can bring.
A Lump of Coal
I stared at the piece of coal.
This was the answer?
I had prayed, after all, with great earnestness, even invoking the name of Jesus, the solution I thought best. This was not what should’ve happened. Was this some kind of joke?
I’m not laughing, God.
Brokenness and discouragement seeped into my soul. Then, loneliness joined the twosome. Life slid to a stop. The future seemed dark and cold and void.
I don’t deserve this! My whole being screamed. I wanted to fling that chunk of disappointment far from sight.
It’s OK. I’ve got this, sounded softly in my ear. The coal is a gift.
Unsure if I agreed, I turned the coal over and over. God was in the habit of blessing us with more than just our wants. He always gave us just what we needed. Here in the midst of my misery, He had not delivered the answer I had devised, but rather the one that would bring the greatest treasure.
I clutched the coal close to my heart. After all, this bit of blackness was how all diamonds started out. In the end, I believed, a precious gem would be produced, valuable, and full of beauty.
Thanks for thinking of me, God. I will treasure it forever.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”