Diamonds in the Fire

Confession: These diamonds cost me a lot though…

A few days ago during some prayer time, I heard the Lord quietly say, “diamonds in fire.” Being an INFP and an Ennea 5w4, I had so many questions and buzzing thoughts I didn’t quite know where to begin.

I settled down like the beginning of a scavenger hunt and first considered Fire’s personality. Fire is fire, right?

So, why are there different types of fire–or perhaps it’s not that there’s different types of fire, but different material and conditions that make it seem like there could be 50 odd different types of fire like there are 50-some different words for snow that the Inuit use…

I considered that fire seems to burn differently depending on if it’s consuming natural wood, treated wood, paper, dust, trees, dead leaves, coal…if there’s wind, and how much and which direction is it blowing, if it’s a wildfire or if it’s contained in a fireplace or in a sandy beach pit or a vacuum, which, incidentally, would probably mean no fire because fire needs oxygen…but fire in itself is just fire…right? Like, the basic elements of fire are the same?

God is an all-consuming fire, and there’s the baptism of Holy Spirit’s fire…I thought about the song “fire fall down” and how sometimes we pray for “fresh fire” and wondered–does God have a million different types of fire stashed away next to the storehouses of snow? Saving it up like some kind of sovereign hoarder of fire, a cynical and miserly Prometheus doling it out only when we beg for it?

I highly doubted it. Rather, I thought that the amount of “freshness” of the “fresh fire” we ask for actually depends on us, because He is an all-consuming fire. Fire is fire.

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he writes,

Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, becuase it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

So the burning question is (pun intended),

What kind of fuel are we? Paper thin so we combust quickly and…burn out? Or chunky coal that glows giving light and heat steady and long into the night?

I did a little more research, and it turns out we aren’t too far off in our line of questioning:

The 4 basic elements of combustion, called the Fire Tetrahedron, are:

  • Oxygen (to sustain combustion)
  • Heat (sufficient enough to raise the material to its ignition point)
  • Fuel (aka combustible material)
  • Exothermic Chemical Chain reaction in the fuel that produces visible & invisible radiation (heat and light)

Firefighters typically classify fire into 5 or 6 different categories depending on–you guessed it–the type of material (fuel) that is combusting. I’ve included 6 here.

  • Class A: organic solids like paper, wood, cotton, etc.
  • Class B: flammable liquids (so H20 wouldn’t count)
  • Class C: flammable gases (flatulence counts)
  • Class D: Metals
  • Class E: Cooking Oils & Fats
  • Electrical Fires

I wondered what type of heat or light is emitted when diamonds are the fuel, and then thought, “Wait, do diamonds even burn? They must, since they’re just made of carbon…?”

Yes friends, diamonds do indeed burn at temperatures between 690º C to 840º C in a steady stream of pure oxygen, the finer the diamond the more brilliantly they burn from red to white to blue without leaping flames, leaving no ash nor residue, but disappearing with just a puff of CO2.

Sorry ladies, it appears that diamonds are not forever. (You’re better off with pearls actually. They don’t burn or even scorch!)

No one in their right mind would burn their diamonds into nothingness–it’s just not a normal thing people would think of to do. Not only that, diamonds are created over vast amounts of billion years time, under incredible pressure and heat that causes the carbon atoms to crystallize.

Simply put, these figurative life diamonds that I have–dang, they came with a lot of pressure, heat, pain, tears, sacrifice and high cost.

Yet, here I was, with God asking me, What do you think? Will you throw your diamonds in the fire?

He was inviting me to build with Him something more lasting than diamonds, to surrender my sacred and precious things, all the work, ministry, blessings, reputation, status, and buildings built through trials and grace, tears and sweat, blood and bones; even treasures and revelations that came from Him.

He was asking if would we let Him consume us wholly again, and take our diamonds for His glory…to trust and surrender because He wants to empower us to build things of a higher quality than in the past–not that what we did before was bad; they were diamonds.

But this was about a deeper work that would take us from precious stone to silver to gold.

Actually, pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity, and the best reflector of visible light. Pure gold becomes even brighter in fire, and neither metal “burns” but rather melts. The ignition point of gold is 1064º C and silver’s is 961.8º C, compared to a diamond’s ignition point of 840º C. The average house burns at 600º C.

Why are these facts relevant? I realized that the burning of our diamonds means the fire must be higher and hotter than average. More intense than what we’ve experienced in past seasons when it was mostly paper thin, stubble, hay, maybe some wood for fuel. He’s not a cruel God to put wood in heat meant for precious stones; likewise, trust the chrysalis we’re in now, that the temperature’s just right.

And, when the time comes for the refining of the gold in us, the heat and temperature of that fire is going to be…well, we’ll think about that when we get there.

Diamonds in the Fire

Like skipping stones, 
I will throw 
My diamonds in your fire
No ashes, no stain
To accuse me after
Just sunlit ripples in the water

Take me
Even if I melt away
This is golden

Take me
Even if I fly away
This is Holy

Love can only grow stronger 
When I throw
My diamonds in your fire

No ashes, no stain
To accuse me after
Just sunlit ripples in the water 

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