Is a diamond any less a diamond when it is buried far beyond the reach and outside the scope of our sight? Or when it is discovered but not yet refined or polished or placed in a setting to maximize it’s beauty? Or when it sits on the jeweler’s bench waiting for the next step in the refining process? The answer is obviously no…it is always a diamond, regardless of where it is in the journey of becoming a polished piece of jewelry that will adorn a special person. What makes the diamond a diamond lies in it’s make-up.

What if a diamond falls into the hands of someone who is unable to recognize it? If you or I were sent on mission to recover a diamond from the depths of a mine, we would most likely return empty-handed. Or worse, we might have our hands full of every other kind of rock besides a diamond. Our eyes have not been trained to look for diamonds and because of it, the chances of us not recognizing a diamond in it’s original form if it were right in front of our noses is pretty high.

The message this week on the Promise of Redemption hit many of us pretty hard because we could identify with the nagging feeling that we may have missed it when our purpose for living drove by. Maybe you remember it as a sense of worth that you once walked in, but it has long since left the bus stop and all that remains is a guilt that you should have never got off when you did. Perhaps you can’t even remember what happened exactly; it just seems like a lot of confusion and when the dust cleared, you were still standing on the corner while everyone else seemed to have found their ride.

Pastor Danny quoted Psalm 18:35, “You stoop down to make me great” and the sense of longing in the room was palpable. Every heart murmuring, “PLEASE, let that be true!” Could God care enough to stoop down into the mess that I am buried beneath in order to lift me out of it?

Because each of us, those who admit it and those who hide behind the more polished parts of their lives, are looking for purpose and fulfillment. We want to know (and not just wonder) if there is something great inside of us, if there is more to life than just being comfortable, happy, and successful. There is an ache to be a part of something so much bigger than the here and now.

If only we didn’t get hung up on all the weaknesses, faults, and bad decisions we are buried beneath…if only we could see beyond the unrefined state….if only we could see the end result long before the beautification process begins then maybe we could see what Pastor Danny is telling us that God sees.

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. John 3:17 (MSG)

Read it again. And again. And again. Let the words sink past the shame, the regret, the rejection. Jesus didn’t come to condemn you. He came to call out the diamond, the reflection of God you were created to be.

Maybe you missed the bus for many of the things you assumed would bring purpose and fulfillment; you don’t have the education you wanted or the relationship you hoped for or the career you dreamed of or the friends you assumed would be there or the sense of identity you thought was a given. A lot of buses might have driven right past you and left you choking on dust as you watched your hopes drive away with them but God has not forgotten you. His trained eye sees you and knows exactly how He created you. He knows your worth even if it is currently buried far beneath your sin. And His qualified hands can take you from an unidentifiable rock and transform you into a beautiful gem.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.  Ephesians 1:11-12 (MSG)

God’s promise to you is for redemption. Grab hold of that promise with both hands and don’t let go.10756137215_2cf9cf9a6c_b