My sister is sick with a virus. So sick she has been in the hospital for three days getting fluids and medications by IV. You have to know this girl; she is all the best things about humanity in a beautiful, fun package. It is frustrating that she is so sick. Just a little over a year ago she battled and beat a cancerous tumor. I’m telling you, she’s gold. Her illness reminds me of the wisdom of the Book of Job: sometimes bad stuff happens to good people. Think I can’t find a diamond analogy here? I can.
Diamonds are meant to reflect light. Problems with the cut or the clarity of a diamond can hinder this process. In this particular analogy, cut and clarity have to do with imperfections in our character or an unwillingness to submit to spiritual discipline. When we find ourselves in either of these positions we will find that our lives do not reflect the light of God like they should. But what happens when we, like Job (though usually to a much lesser extent), find ourselves unable to produce light, despite our best efforts toward purity and discipline? After all, this was Job’s loudest defense: I’m innocent! And he still found himself sick, poor, and all alone.
But diamonds can have another problem, too, and I call it life grease. Even a perfectly cut, flawless diamond will fail to reflect light if plagued with this. It doesn’t happen because we do something wrong or because we have some kind of internal weakness.
A diamond, the hardest substance in the world, is threatened by the simple grease we carry around on our fingers. This grease is a natural by-product of our skin and found everywhere. It is the junk of life that just comes from living in a fallen world. We get sick, we lose, we are forced to give in. Sometimes it isn’t our fault at all; it’s just the junk of life.
The antidote to life grease is a mild detergent, a soft cloth, and some gentle rubbing. It isn’t fatal or permanent. We wash ourselves with the water of the Word; removing the grease is about making healthy decisions, avoiding despair when we don’t have the power to change the situation, and always remembering that God is in control. So, my sister probably feels a little dull right now, but it isn’t because she has failed or sinned. It’s because she’s sick. If I were there I’d sing a little, pray a little, and help her laugh at the whole situation. Ideally, I’d hand her a million dollars so she’d never have to work a thankless job again or get stabbed in the heart by an unthinking friend. I probably can’t do that. But mabye like Job’s friends in their early (and wisest) days, I could just sit awhile in silence, hating the injustice but accepting it as a part of life. Because in the end, I know My Redeemer lives and He’s going to make it all right again someday!