Heating Things Up – A Real Beauty Treatment
|Cut ruby, image in public domain via Wikimedia Commons|
I have fun designing and making jewelry. I even took a metal smithing class a few years ago. Mainly, I enjoy creating bracelets and necklaces with beads right now, but on a whim I decided to look for a gemstone website to browse for fun. I love looking at the sparkly jewels, cut from the rock they were imbedded in, given precise faceting and polished to a reflective shine. Beautiful! God made these lovely gems and man used his God-given talents to bring out their brilliance.
Garnets are one of my favorite gemstones, which is a good thing, since it’s my birthstone. I’m amazed at how many different colors there are, from purplish to green! My husband gave me a lovely rhodalite garnet ring for my 30th birthday, ahem, mumble years ago. The stone is a deep red color infused with shades of violet. It almost looks like a ruby.
Since I like red stones I also enjoyed looking at rubies on one of the websites I was browsing and learned something new. Did you know that all but the finest stones are usually heat treated to bring out their color? When a decent quality ruby is heated nearly to the melting point, a new crystalline structure is formed that brings out a deeper red. The lesser quality rubies have many little fractures, which are filled with dyed leaded glass to improve their appearance and lessen the flaws to the naked eye.
|Heat treated rubies. Photo via Wikimedia Commons [cc] by|
The fracture filling technique sounds a lot easier on the ruby if you ask me, but you don’t get the same brilliance that the heating technique brings out. The Lord, however, is interested in making us more like His Son, Jesus right down to the insides of our hearts. He doesn’t want to perform a little slap and dab cosmetic fix on the outside, just so we look good. This is why the trials He allows in our lives put so much pressure on us. While we are already new creatures in Christ if we are His children, we still need the heat kept on us to help purge the impurities from these fleshly minds and hearts we still wrestle with. Our thought patterns need to be changed and we need to direct our hearts more toward Him.
I must confess that I find it difficult to be thankful for trials, yet I know I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, who has a reason for allowing or putting me through difficulties. As believers, it isn’t always easy to have an eternal perspective in a finite world, but I’m slowly learning. I guess the question for me is: Would I rather be like the ruby of lesser quality, fracture filled and looking good to others? Or would I prefer to be more like the ruby with a deeper, truer color, reflecting the beauty of Christ to others from the inside out?
Lord, teach us to see trials as you do, as means of purifying our faith and making us more like You. Help us to trust You through the difficult times. In Jesus’ name we ask these things, amen.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
(James 1:2-4, NLT)
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
(1 Peter 1:7, NLT)
Information on rubies found at www.gemselect.com.