I have a ring that I really enjoy. It’s simple, it’s classic. It consists of a single Alexandrite stone in an elegant emerald cut shape, possibly two carats in weight. I bought the ring many years ago from a jewelry designer that is a friend of a friend. I have since had the stone remounted into it’s current setting. The attraction to this particular gemstone, was developed during a conversation with the designer when he discussed the characteristics of the gem. Alexandrite is one of the rarest gemstones, and it possesses unique properties. Depending upon the lighting conditions, Alexandrite changes colors. In the daylight, natural Alexandrite is a greenish blue to a dark yellow green. Under indoor lighting the color is pink to red. My stone is not a naturally occurring Alexandrite – as I would never, ever be able to afford such a gem – it is lab grown. So, the colors of my stone vary a bit. In natural light, and depending upon the angle of my ring, the color of the gemstone varies from greenish blue, aquamarine, or a light sapphire blue – no yellowish green. Inside light tends to produce mostly purple (like the color of an Amethyst), with some blues, some pink, and even sometimes a blackish tone – I don’t see the red. At times, I see hints of multiple colors. I enjoy looking to see the color changes under the different lighting conditions, with brighter light producing different colors than lower light. It’s quite unique.
In my First 5 Bible study of Jeremiah, I found a such a gemstone in the teaching presented by Lyli Dunbar on November 24, 2018. And just as my lab-created Alexandrite stone changes colors under different lighting conditions, Lyli’s reflection got me seeing Bible reading, and Bible reflection, in a “different light.” Her powerful statement “He’s (God’s) more interested in refining my character than He is to responding to my comfort,” was just the start to get the wheels turning in my brain. She presented to us a model of Bible study that I had not considered, nor encountered, before.
Pour over each verse, look for evidence of God’s character, and ask yourself:
- “Who is God, here?”
- “How is He displaying His steadfast love to these people and to me?”
- “How is He showing His righteousness, His wisdom?”
- “How is it evident in the passage I’m reading?”
Lyli goes on to say to try to intentionally consider His goodness and His glory in every verse that we read. As we do so, we shift our focus from our problems and concerns to gaining an understanding of God’s character, holiness, and presence. We move our focus off of ourselves to the one who loves, and holds, us through every circumstance in our lives. And that, my friends, is like the difference between my gemstone in artificial light verses natural light.
Oh, Abba Father, enrich my time in my Bible studies so that I can gain an ever greater understanding of who you are. Let me see your character at work in my life, the lives of my loved ones, and the world around me. In every situation that I face, help me to to rest in your presence, thus generating a peace that passes all understanding. Establish in me ongoing knowledge of your sovereignty so that it transpires and grows strong roots within my heart.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)