I am going to start this one with a story I heard recently titled ‘Acres of Diamonds’. The story was originally written a century ago by Dr Russell Conwell who once went on a trip along the Tigris River in present-day Iraq. Using a guide hired in Baghdad, he would take him out to the Persian Gulf. These river guides loved to talk, but this story, Conwell insists, is easily verified.
Story – Acres of Diamonds
There was a man who lived on the banks of the River Indus who had a nice farm with orchards and gardens, a beautiful wife and children. He was content with what he had. One day a priest came by and told this farmer about the famed diamonds in Persia. He told the farmer that if he had a few diamonds he could have not just one farm, but many. This farmer from then on was consumed by the thought of capturing diamonds.
Soon after, he sold up everything he had and went travelling in search of diamonds, across Persia, Palestine and into Europe. A couple of years later, all the money he had was gone, and he was wandering around in rags. When a large wave came in from the sea, he was happily swept under by it. Now the scene changes to the man who had bought the farmer’s land. One fine day, as he was watering the fields he found a big sparkling stone in a stream that cut through his land. Upon further inspection, it was a pure diamond. In fact, after digging further there were more diamonds. This, according to the parable, was the discovery of the famed mines of Golconda, that would yield not just one or two but acres of diamonds.
The point of the story is that we often dream of fortunes to be made elsewhere. We ought instead to be open to the opportunities that are around us Mr Conwell writes in his book.
I want to transition and use this story to bring in the spiritual perspective. You see a lot of times we as Jesus followers forget what it means be ‘In-Christ’. Let’s be honest, for those of us who have been following Jesus for years, we tend to lose the awe of the Gospel narrative. For instance, when I was at a missions trip back in 2017 and my Pastor was communicating the gospel at an open-air meeting, I was more concerned about how many people would receive the message rather than it to enrich my soul personally. Sometimes the Greatest News of the Gospel can be Old News to some of us. In a world that is obsessed with ‘NEW’, we need to constantly remind ourselves the Acres of Diamonds we have in Jesus!
There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the Author of your Destiny.
— Ravi Zacharias
To us young people in this generation, we are fooled at times that there is something greater outside. We tend to think there is true joy in things of this world. We think the grass is greener outside the Church, outside of Jesus. We’re always looking outside. Reminds of the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, who thought his riches were outside the bounds of his father’s house. We all know the story, not long after, coming to his senses in a distant land, to realise that he was better off in his Father’s house. How many times we see young people running after things that bring temporary relief and satisfaction. Only to later realise that it was of no gain but hurt and pain. I want to urge us to go back to our heavenly father, to go back to the church, to go back to Jesus. We are living in acres of diamonds! It is only in Jesus we find true riches (see Matthew 13:44-46 & Colossians 2:3). We need a fresh vision, we need to open our eyes. I love the Psalmist plea in Psalms 199:18…
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
— Psalms 119:18 (NIV)
Another beautiful example is that of the two criminals on either side of Jesus on the Cross (see Luke 23:39-43). One of them looks at Jesus as a no-good, beat up man, but the other criminal recognises this man and asks for forgiveness. Sure enough, this criminal received the most beautiful gift of eternal life. That is the power of perspective. May our perspective of faith be fixed on Jesus and Him alone, an unchanging, unwavering faith! (see Hebrews 12:2)
The Problem with Diamonds
The thing about diamonds is that before it becomes this shiny expensive piece, it has to go through intense heat and pressure. It takes time to see the full potential and beauty of a clear diamond, there has to be some intense pressure & heat applied. Without heat and pressure, it’s just a black rock. But if that black rock has enough heat & enough pressure it will give birth to a diamond, it’s going to happen! Our journey with Jesus is never smooth sailing, at times it is far from it. Doesn’t this remind you of ‘life’ itself? When the rubber meets the road, what is our response?
Paul writes in Philippians 3:14 – ‘I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’. A lot of times this journey will require us to ‘press on’, meaning to keep the faith and move forward in times of hardship and trial. I may be young but I have seen the fruit of being faithful. In fact, one of the fruits of the spirit is faithfulness, that is to respond to God in being faithful. Staying faithful is a rare trait in today’s day. God loves a faithful soul (see Hebrews 11:6) and I believe He is looking for faithful people to take this journey to our destiny. We are all living stones that are being crafted in Christ Jesus.
As I conclude…
I want to make a plea. For those of us who are outside the church, for those of us who have lost sight and awe of Jesus. Let’s go back to our beautiful saviour. To stick to our faith in spite of what’s going on around us. That is why I titled this post ‘Diamond in the rough’, where we are moulded, crafted and made by Jesus in this world to be a witness for Him. My prayer is that each of us as followers of Jesus on this journey will become diamonds in God’s kingdom and in the world.
Always remember this, In Christ, we are living in Acres of Diamonds!
I hope you enjoyed this short read. If you have been blessed, feel free to share this with friends and family. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to check out my other blogs on the PivotPost blog page.
– Sam D. Mathews