On our honeymoon my husband and I went to TN and he took me gem mining. I had never done that before and I became hooked. Every time we go South now, we make sure to do some gem mining. There are different ways and means to do it, but the end desire is always the same – to separate out from the surrounding earth something precious, rare, and beautiful. You would think it is easy, and to a certain point it is. But here is what I learned – the really good gems are usually camouflaged.  Anyone can run dirt and rocks through water looking for the precious but it takes someone with a trained eye to see the precious hidden in the ordinary. I’ve often wondered how many gems I threw out with the “ordinary” rocks.

People are like that too. How many times do we move past people because we think they are…let’s be nice and say – ordinary? We justify our action because, when we are dealing with people, ordinary means issues, problems, ugliness, time, and heartbreak. Ordinary means a relationship won’t be easy and frankly, life is hard enough. So, when it comes to people, we should hunt out the gems – right?

I am so thankful God doesn’t do that. He has always hunted out the messy, the ordinary of the world and shown great mercy and grace wrapped in His holy love. Why would He do that? Because to His trained eye He sees the gem, the “what can be” and He sees great value. Let me be clear – the ordinary is everyone of us. We all are messy. We all have issues. And, God loves each and every one of us – just as we are. But I am also thankful that He doesn’t leave us in the muck and He doesn’t just sit us a shelf. Instead, He washes the muck (sin) away, smooths out the rough edges, shines the light into the crevices and exposes the gem inside.

One of the things that I love about gems is that there are so many of them and they are all unique and beautiful in their own right. They are all precious, wanted, and sought after. That is how God sees us! We each have a value and are of great worth! And, this takes me to our memory verse for February – I Peter 2:9,  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”.

Above & Beyond,

Your Pastor