Written By: Karin Appleby
“A good woman is hard to find. She is worth more than diamonds.” Proverbs 31:10
When I was first asked to write for UYM, I was very excited. I immediately said “yes”. I was excited to help my friend with her ministry, and I have always loved to write. A couple of days later, I sat down to look at what I was asked to write about. Honestly, I sat there and laughed. It was a “you have got to be kidding me” kind of laugh. How did I miss this? Proverbs 31. Of course! This is the passage on The Proverbs 31 Woman. I had only noticed that the topic was “Worth More Than Diamonds”. My laughing quickly turned into a, “Oh God, what am i going to do” kind of groan.
If I had been asked to write about The Place of Women in Ministry, or 7 Simple Steps to Attaining Perfect Peace, or The End Times (okay, not really) or a myriad of other topics, I would have smiled, done some research, and started writing confidently. But this passage of scripture. *Sigh* This was personal. Over the years as I’ve interacted with my husband and children, I am confident they have wanted to rise up and call me things, but I’m not sure it has always been blessed. This passage of scripture has inspired me when I was a bright-eyed eager, young girl, and has overwhelmed me when I was a dedicated, over-achieving, newly married woman. Honestly, I have tried to ignore it as the realities of life, both wonderful and disappointing, have pressed in…except occasionally as a joke – “Wow, any woman who can do all of that would be a fearsome thing to behold” (insert laughter here). How was I going to write anything worth reading about this?
This is where the praying part of the story begins. No matter what I had been asked to write about, I would have prayed. It would have gone something like “Lord, please speak through me as I write this article on the End Times. Put Your words in my mouth so that I can communicate what You want me to share. If You want to give some incredible new insight that no one has ever thought of, that would be awesome too. Amen.” There is nothing wrong with this prayer. But this time my prayer went something like, “Oh God, I need you so much! When I look at this passage of scripture, I am terrified. How can I, a woman who is so far from the incredible example found here in scripture, hope to write anything for women (who probably have it far more together than I do)? Amen.” Hmmm…could it be that there might be some of my own issues with worth surfacing?
God is so good! Over the next several weeks as I continued to pray and listen to the Holy Spirit, the Lord took me on a journey of discovery about worth. The phrase worth more than diamonds began to rattle around in my head. I began reading all about the process of how diamonds are formed at geology.com. Did you know that diamonds are formed about 150 km (90 miles) below the surface of the earth? The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. These conditions occur in limited areas of the earth’s mangle where temperatures are at least 1050 degrees Celsius (2000 degrees Fahrenheit). Through the process of incredible pressure and heat, carbon gas particles are changed into crystals. Diamonds are then brought to the earth’s surface during underground volcanic eruptions. When a diamond is finally dug out of the earth, it often looks like a cloudy, ugly rock (the kind I would toss back if I found it on a beach). A diamond must still be cut and polished. Finally the diamond is in it’s perfect state. It’s full value becomes obvious to anyone that looks at it.
The Lord began to speak to me. “If I were to show you a plot of land and tell you there is a diamond forming deep in the soil, how would you feel about that piece of land? Would you want that land?” “Oh yes Lord, I would want that land!” I replied. “What if it were the most barren piece of wasteland you had ever seen?” “It wouldn’t matter, Lord. If you told me a diamond was forming there, I would still want it.” “What if I were to give you that piece of ugly land and tell you that if you were patient long enough, and you allowed me to put enough pressure and heat on that land, it would produce a diamond of astounding worth for you?” “I would say, Lord do whatever you need to do to create exactly the right conditions. Would it help if I parked my car on top of it?”
He began to show me that this is how He sees all of us. He thought of us and created us. Our incredible worth is innate. When we receive Him as the Lord of our lives, the perfect elements are brought together for the process of transformation to occur. It is uncomfortable as He applies tremendous heat and pressure, creating exactly the right conditions to shape and form us into what He dreams we would be. Finally, when the time is right, He uncovers the incredible new thing that He has been forming in us, but it is still in it’s raw unpolished state. He continues to cut and polish and shape until our lives resemble a diamond of incredible worth that everyone can recognize.
The trouble in this process is, we often look at the scripture about the Proverbs 31 Woman, or the lives of others around us, and we conclude because we don’t look like the finished product, we don’t have any worth. We are all in process. Some of us are like the diamonds still in the earth. We are in a place of hiddenness. Great pressure and heat are being applied to our lives. In this place it is so easy to wonder if we have been forgotten by God. Some of us are in the middle of what feels like a volcanic eruption. Everything that we used to know is rapidly changing. God is bringing to the surface the incredible thing He has been doing in us, but it feels confusing because all we can see is a cloudy rock. We feel like even though we can see some progress, we are still falling so far short. Some of us are in the cutting and polishing stage of the journey. While we are thankful for the calm, we are sometimes wondering if this process will ever end. In the midst of the process, it can be difficult not to look ahead to what we dream the finished product will look like and be disappointed by what our reality is. It is difficult not to compare ourselves with others and find our own worth lacking.
The thing the Lord whispered to my heart as He spoke to me about this process, and I long for each of you to hear Him whisper to you – “Your worth is immeasurable to me, no matter where you are in this process!” When He asked me if I wanted the field where the diamonds were forming, my answer was a resounding YES! The worth was already there even though I could not see the end result.
Ladies, your worth is already established! The Creator of the Universe thought of you, created you, then offered to put His own spirit inside of you because of your incredible worth. As you continually submit your life to Him, all of the incredible-ness inside you will begin to shine on the outside. It is as you turn to your Creator and decide to allow Him to determine your worth that you can know, truly know, you are “worth more than diamonds”.
Karin is an American living in beautiful Ontario, Canada. She loves being a Children’s Pastor at Amherstburg Community Church. Karin believes that identity determines destiny and is passionate about raising up a generation of children who know their Heavenly Father and believes what He says about them. In her spare time, Karin loves to wander through antique shops, read good books, cook new foods, and drink tea with friends. She has been married to her wonderful husband Dan for 22 years, and they have two awesome kids, Will and Abbey.