I opened a small box and admired the lovely brooch inside. Many eyes were on me as I was asked if I knew why this design was chosen for me.
Our family has a Scottish heritage and the gift had come from Scotland but I figured there was more to it than that. Focusing on the design in the stone I struggled to see what images were there. My family laughed as I came up with some interesting interpretations.
After a few minutes my son-in-law took pity on me and asked how many thistles surrounded the stone. That was the clue I needed. There were eight, one for each of my grandchildren.
The stone itself was a Heathergem, made from the stems of the heather plant. Basically, the heather is picked, dried, died and then mixed together and compressed. Eighty tons of pressure is required to press the block of stems together. It was incredible to think this lovely stone was once the stems of a plant.
The first lesson I learned from this gift was that sometimes I look so hard to find a complicated solution that I overlook the answer that is right in front of me.
Lesson two was that pressure is not always a negative thing. It is not pleasant to go through times of intense pressure but this stone was evidence that the results can produce something of strength and beauty that would not otherwise be possible.
I need to remember that God can take any situation and produce something good from it. I only need to give it to him and allow him to do his work.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)