Today’s post comes from a fellow twenty something, Central and Leading & Loving It team member, and my friend, Kaylee Zentai. Brew your favorite cup of coffee and dive into some incredible truths on the process of becoming beautiful…
The lyrics of the popular Hillsong melody, “Desert Song,” grip me every time I hear them. Towards the beginning of the song, there’s a line that says, “There is a faith proved of more worth than gold, so refine me, Lord, through the flame”. I love this illustration of being refined through the flame. The gold we see in jewelry stores didn’t magically appear that way from the very beginning. It was dug up, placed in a furnace, and put under extreme heat and pressure, ultimately melting it to clean out any impurities within it. Diamonds undergo a similar process and start out simply as carbon atoms. However, some of those atoms are put under immense heat and pressure, causing them to bond together and begin to grow diamond crystals.
It has always spoken loudly to my heart that the process of becoming beautiful is not really beautiful at all. This thought not only rings true for gold and diamonds, but for pretty much everything in life. Ladies, you know what I mean. I don’t care what Beyoncé says; we did not wake up flawless. In reality, waking up ain’t so pretty and we each have a process we go through to get ready and feel beautiful. For me, this is especially true with exercising.
I don’t like exercising. I don’t like to run or sweat or feel weak or out of breath. I want to like these things because I know they are good for me and I know that if I liked them more, I would be able to like my lattes and French fries and ice cream with a little less guilt. There was actually a brief time where I was committed to regular exercise. I lost some weight, built some gnarly shoulder and arm muscles, and ran for seven whole minutes straight—a HUGE deal for someone as unathletic as myself. But this process was not beautiful. I got really sweaty, I would be out of breath, and my body would be pushed past its limits.
I’ve noticed something about these processes though: they are just like the process of becoming spiritually beautiful…becoming like Christ. Just like gold or diamonds or muscles, we are put under immense pressure and withstand trying temperatures all to refine and strengthen us. And these trials, they aren’t just a one-and-done sort of deal. You don’t just go to the gym once, have a really great workout, and leave looking like a Victoria’s Secret model (trust me, I’ve tested the theory). Our physical and spiritual muscles must be pulled and broken and allowed to heal so they can build and then begin the process all over again. Diamonds aren’t formed from a quick moment of pressure. Gold isn’t purified from only a second of heat. The process of becoming beautiful is not beautiful. But the result—the diamond, the shining gold, the spirit of Christ—is glorious and full of beauty.
So if you’re going through trials right now, I want to encourage you to hold on and stick it out. Even if this is the 501st time you’ve gone through this exact same trial and you feel like “Okay, God, is my spiritual body ripped yet? Am I a diamond yet? Haven’t I been refined enough?” Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you” and He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
The process of becoming beautiful isn’t so beautiful, but the end result? Yeah, that’s down-right gorgeous.