Sometimes we are granted a heavenly lens by which to see the world, but rarely if ever does the world’s lens align to His. The most difficult subject to see through any lens is ourselves. Through the lens of the world we often see ourself harshly and become our greatest critic. We fight ourselves more than we fight anyone else.
But then sometimes there comes a season that in God’s grace we are granted His lens, and we suddenly see ourself through His eyes. We begin to see our value and step into a way of grace towards ourself. This is one of God’s greatest graces and gifts. To see ourself as He sees us. But as with every lesson comes the test. The test in this situation comes when the world’s treatment of us differs from that of our Heavenly Father.
This test has come across my desk recently. As I peered out my window, trying to reason the challenges of this test, I felt my Abba come sit beside me. He told me this story.
“There once was a jeweler. He was a very quiet and humble man. Everyone in town came to him to value their jewels because they knew him to be honest and trustworthy. He had aged, but his eye for value had not.
His grandson came in to his shop one day. The young boy found his grandfather in the back office holding something with a deep red velvet cloth; the old man was smiling as he peered at the item.
‘Grandfather, what are you looking at? May I see it?’
‘Not yet, my boy. Not yet.’
The old man folded over the velvet cloth and placed the item in a safe. He locked it and went out to the front of the shop. The grandson looked at the safe, curious at why his grandfather would hide away something if it were so special.
Years passed, and the grandson took up his grandfather’s business. He learned all the ways of the trade from his grandfather as well as the value of honesty and trustworthiness. He often caught his grandfather taking out the red velvet cloth and looking at the mystery item with a big smile. Each time, the grandson wondered what could possibly bring such a smile to his grandfather’s face.
The grandson grew into a respected young man, and he soon met a young woman whom he loved and admired. He spoke one day to his grandfather about picking out a ring from the shop and how he wanted it to be the best ring he could find. His grandfather smiled, but said nothing.
The young man spent the day examining all the rings in the shop, comparing each ring down to the tiniest detail. None seemed right for his sweetheart, and he became frustrated by the end of the business day. He didn’t want to look for a ring in any other shop, after all this was his own family’s shop. What an embarrassment if he had to go looking elsewhere. He finally settled on one that was the best out of those available.
He hadn’t noticed, but his grandfather had been watching him throughout the day, stifling a laugh. As they locked up the shop for the day, the grandson approached his grandfather to ask permission to buy the ring he had settled on. His grandfather took the ring from his grandson’s hand and placed it on the counter. Grabbing his grandson’s arm, he then silently led him to the back office. He took a key from his vest pocket and unlocked the safe.
Never in all the years of working beside his grandfather had the young man been allowed to see what this safe held. He knew it was a most treasured item because only grandfather knew what it was. All the young man knew of it was that it was wrapped in a deep red velvet cloth.
‘Come, my boy.’
The young man walked to stand close beside his grandfather. His grandfather’s wrinkled hands pulled out the velvet cloth and unfolded it carefully. There laid the most exquisite diamond ring the young man had ever seen. His breath caught as he saw the sparkle. It was set in an elaborate gold setting.
‘Grandfather, where did…’
‘It’s yours,” he said as he handed it to his grandson.
‘Mine? But it must be worth…’
‘I’ve been saving it for you. Only now are you able to appreciate its value. You’ve finally learned what marks value and worth. You’ve looked over every option in the shop. Only now can you appreciate the value of this beauty.’
~ ~ ~
The test still lay on my desk as His story ended. What does it mean?
He answered my unspoken question, “The world’s ways are not my ways, child. Don’t let them tell you how much worth or value you have. I hide you away because you are My priceless jewel. I will not unveil you except to one whose eye recognizes your value. Because to me, you are invaluable. Do not trust the blind to look and see value. I alone know value. My ways are not the world’s ways.
You see, many a time the greatest jewel does not shine in a window for all to see, but rather it is hidden away from the limelight, kept safe for the owner to treasure and enjoy. He doesn’t want people to know what he is hiding because they then would try to steal it from him. But in its due time, the owner will put it on display, in a glorious setting, set in the purest of gold, finally welcoming others to enjoy his treasure with him.
Not any fools gold can hold one of the King’s Crown Jewels.”
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” Isaiah 43:4
“For her worth is far above jewels.” Proverbs 31:10