Grace Gem    

  A Bible Study from

            Grace for the Raging Storm

                                        Phyllis Vavold

 


O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires, I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and your walls of precious stones.

                              (Isaiah 54:11-12)

 

 

The glamorous masterwork of Peter Faberge captures a glimpse into the world of the rich and famous. In the early 1900's his exquisite creations catered to the Russian and English royalty. The Faberge egg is only a sample of his artistic luxury designs using the most indigenous gemstones available.

 

While visiting a Faberge museum I was captivated by the brilliant splendor and intricate detail of his masterpieces. Pearls with diamond centers became forget-me-nots. Gold weaved into an ornate basket. Jade leaves held onto the silver gilded stem of the stunning floral display. The water was formed from rock-crystal. The Gilded Age of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires brought exquisite perfume bottles, vases, and Easter eggs. 

 

The unimaginable beauty of these precious gems came from the darkness of the earth (sapphire), the smoldering heat of a volcanic eruption (diamond), or the tormenting wound of an oyster (pearl).  Many precious gems surface after centuries of being entrapped in glaciers. Wind and water beatings produce the incredible promise of beauty. Through the years of manufacturing these gems the artists know that heat improves the gemstone's color and clarity. All precious gems undergo the turmoil process of developing their brilliance.

 

Isaiah paints the picture of stone and mortar destroyed by a violent storm. Humanity is tormented by the aches, pains, and trauma of life. Bad things do happen to good people. Tragedy, loss, and heartache monopolize the headlines. We live in an unstable world of grief and disappointments. Darkness, pressure, and lashing describe many a soul. Thankfully the trauma of the afflicted one does not remain victimized. God promises restoration. "I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires; I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and your walls of precious stones."

 

A miracle has its birth in suffering.