As I approach the end of this year, I look back on the letter she wrote me as one of the most precious parts of 2013.
"Dearest Rebekah: Happy birthday! It's September, which means your birthstone is sapphire! Did you know?:
- Sapphires are created from materials found in the deepest parts of the earth's crust (18 miles deep!).
- Sapphires are created through compression and furnace - like temperatures of at least 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Brought to the surface of the river beds by what Christian geologists agree was the Biblical flood.
- Is one of the hardest gemstones, second to diamonds.
- Used to cut, polish, refine and shape gems of lesser strength.
- Is more precious than diamonds in Scripture.
- Used as the foundation to the New Jerusalem.
Is that not what God has done through you? Taken a lost soul from the deep, miry clay, called you, continues to burn away impurities through the fiery furnace of trials and catastrophic events, strengthened you to polish, refine and shape others. He calls you most precious and then uses you to help build his kingdom?!
Sapphires are treasures because of physical catastrophe.
This year has been hard, but you are a more pure follower of Jesus because of it. You lost nothing in the furnace of this past year except what God wanted burned away in an effort to make you more pure and holy for Himself.
So, when you look at this gift, know that seemingly dark insurmountable conditions are necessary in order to create a more holy and radiant child of Christ! I love you so much!
Revelation 21:19-20: "The foundations of the wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones [...] first foundation jasper, second sapphire."
Allison and her husband gave me a breathtaking ring covered in sapphires and rubies. It's gold and has an antique setting. I could go on and on describing how beautiful it is, but the fact is that one day this ring might be lost... a gem might fall out or it might get scratched or stolen. But one thing that will remain in my heart forever are my friend's precious and timely words.
For now, I have the privilege of seeing it glisten in the sunshine, and remember these promises. God truly intends for all trials to bow to his gospel purposes in our lives (Gospel Primer). Trust him. Count on him.
Thankful for 2013. Thankful for my 29th.