Peridot in Paradise | August 16th, 2016
Throughout my life, even as an adult, I could never have imagined a time when I would be unable to call my mother anytime I needed to talk, ask for advice, or simply hear her voice. We spoke to each other on the phone every day – sometimes several times a day.
It was a complete shock to my heart when that moment finally came on March 13, 2012. She had lost her battle to breast cancer and I had lost my cherished friend and precious mother. I prayed continuously for comfort during this season of overwhelming grief.
One morning, I got up very early and opened my Bible to the book of Revelation to read about heaven where I knew my mother was now living in the presence of Jesus. As I began reading in chapter 21, there were a few verses that really caught my attention about its magnificence and beauty…
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:19-20
An Answer to My Prayer for Comfort
I started thinking about this amazing kingdom which had become my mother’s permanent and glorious new Home. It immediately brought me the comfort I had been praying for. As I continued to read, the idea came to mind to design jewelry based on those particular verses.
I soon began to research each of the gemstones listed and found that most of them could be purchased as beads which I could use to make bracelets. I had to do some additional research on the gemstones I had never heard of to find out if they had been given a more modern name for today. The seventh foundation, chrysolite, is a good example of that. Many scholars believe that chrysolite most likely referred to the mineral olivine, known in gemology as August’s traditional birthstone peridot.
The Value of Our Foundation
Peridot, pronounced pair-uh-doe, is derived from the Greek word peridona which means “to give richness.”
It is the gem-quality variety of olivine which is actually quite rare and one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive green. The intensity of the color depends upon the amount of iron present. The more intense the color, the greater the value.
Just as the wall of the city of heaven has a foundation of precious gemstones, we have a foundation that is even more valuable. Our foundation is Jesus Christ, the base of our salvation. He alone has made it possible by His death on the cross for us to be forgiven for our sins so that we can be with Him in heaven for eternity.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
There is absolutely nothing we can do in our own efforts to earn our way into heaven. It is only by God’s grace and His love for us that we can be saved from our sin that separates us from Him.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
The Richness of Redemption
While we are still living here on earth in our temporary home, God greatly desires to have a relationship with us. Why? Because He loves us so much and wants to be included in our daily lives so He can give us the guidance we need to stay on His perfect path – the one He planned for us even before we took our first breath. And the one that will bring the most blessing to our lives because He wants the very best for us.
The characteristics of peridot remind me so much of the way our relationship works with God. Just as the intensity of the color depends upon the amount of iron in the gemstone, the intensity of our relationship with God depends upon how much time we spend with Him by taking our requests to Him in prayer, asking Him for wisdom and discernment, and listening to Him when He speaks to us while reading His Word.
The more intense the color of peridot, the greater the value. The more intense or strong our relationship is with God, the greater we value it.
Think about your relationship with a very dear friend. You tend to value it much more than you would an acquaintance because of the personal closeness you feel with them. They are involved in your life, you talk to them often, you ask them for advice, and share intimate things about your life with them. And they reciprocate by listening well and also sharing deeply with you.
The meaning of peridot, “to give richness,” is comprehensible now when you can imagine it with full-color intensity. Through God’s loving grace, we are given the richness of redemption, an eternal home filled not only with beautiful gemstones but with the intensity of God’s incredible love for us.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7-8a
My Kingdom Collection
It wasn’t long before I had completed a collection of beaded bracelets inspired by these verses in Revelation 21 which became known as my Kingdom Collection:
I would be reminded of this magnificent paradise where my mother now lived each time I looked down and saw a representation of one of the foundations of heaven on my wrist. How wonderfully comforting for me!
I wanted others, who had also lost loved ones, to experience the comfort these brought as well, so I created a website where they could be ordered online.
It has been such a blessing to be able to encourage many in this way who are dealing with the painful heartache and grief that comes from losing someone they loved so dearly. But what a joy to know this loss and sadness is only temporary through the saving grace of Jesus.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4
What a gift to be given the opportunity to have a rich relationship with God…one that starts here on earth and continues in His magnificent kingdom all through eternity.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If you have not done so already, ask Jesus to forgive your sin that separates you from Him. Acknowledge Him as your Savior who died for you and rose again. Accept His free gift of eternal life and be sure to thank Him for His saving grace and incredible love for you.
Sparkler #2: Action
Build the intensity of your relationship with God by spending quality time with Him reading His Word, asking for His guidance and wisdom, and sharing your life with Him.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Keep your eternal, kingdom Home in focus and remember that this short life with all of its difficult losses and heartaches is only temporary. The best is yet to come!
*Peridot – photo credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
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