Since I was a child, I have always had a fascination for gem stones. When I was about 8, a family friend of ours, Mody, gave me her rock collection. There were a lot of nice rocks including some petrified wood, amethyst and cool quartz crystals. In Middle School we had career day where we followed someone around at their job. I hung out with a gemologist and learned about cutting and polishing gems. In college I learned how to grow gems. The process is very fascinating and applies spiritually.
I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In my materials processing class, I did a project on a company called gemesis. They manufacture gems from what’s called a gem seed. This gem seed is encapsulated in a carbon casing and put in a heat and pressure chamber. This gem seed grows and expands filling the entire casing. Oh yeah, the carbon decreases until it eventually is gone. Actually it doesn’t disappear. It is transformed into the same precious stone as the gem seed it is surrounding. You can check out their video here:
This applies to us spiritually because we who have received God’s life have received His seed into our spirit that is surrounded by our soul. Through human life which is full of trials, tribulation, and suffering (heat and pressure), this seed grows and expands and transforms our soul and eventually our body into the same image as the divine seed.
There are some good verses from the Bible that show this.
1 Peter 4:12,13 – Beloved, do not think that the fiery ordeal among you, coming to you for a trial, is strange, as if it were a strange thing happening to you; But inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.
2 Corinthians 4:8 – We are pressed on every side but not constricted; unable to find a way out but not utterly without a way out
1 John 3:9 – Everyone who has been begotten of God does not practice sin, because His seed abides in him and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten of God.
John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.
This process of transformation is shown in the book of Genesis. There are 50 chapters in this book, 25 of which are devoted to one person, Jacob. The name Jacob means supplanter or heal holder. From his birth, he has been struggling with men and he even wrestled with God. They wrestled all night until God touched his hip. From then on he walked with a limp. He also worked for 7 years for his wife, only to find he got her sister, so he had to work 7 more for the girl he wanted. These are just examples of all the trials Jacob went through. In the end he was transformed into something
precious in the sight of God and men. He abundantly blessed his 12 sons who became the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel. He even blessed Pharaoh. Finally at the end of his life, when he blessed his son Joseph, he testified that God has shepherded me all my life to this day (Gen. 48:15). What a transformation!
A hymn I enjoy singing sums this up very well:
1. God’s intention is to have us
All conformed to His dear Son;
Thus a work of transformation
By the Spirit must be done.
Lord, transform us to Thine image
In emotion, mind and will;
Saturate us with Thy Spirit,
All our being wholly fill.
2. God hath us regenerated
In our spirit with His life;
But He must transform us further;
In our soul by his own life.
3. Spreading outward from our spirit
Doth the Lord transform our soul,
By the inward parts renewing,
Till within His full control.
4. By the power of His Spirit
In His pattern He transforms;
From His glory to His glory
To His image He conforms.
5. He transforms, all sanctifying,
Till like Him we are matured;
He transforms, our soul possessing,
Till His stature is secured.