The Canadian Shield is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history. It has a deep, common, joined bedrock region in Eastern and central Canada and stretches North from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean, covering over half of Canada; it also extends South into the Northern reaches of the United States. In a sense it is one gigantic granite rock.
Granite has always been popular as a building material for Egyptian pyramids, Indian temples, or ancient coffins and pillars of all types. In modern times granite is a sought after material for kitchen counter tops, tomb stones, and curling rocks, and has begun to supplant marble as a monument material, since it is much more durable.
How come granite is such a bed-rock stable, durable substance?
Looking at its formation explains a lot as the following illustration shows:
Intense heat and high pressure is what produces the characteristics of granite. It’s also what produces diamonds, some of the most priced jewels there are. And so it’s no surprise that the Canadian Shield, particularly the portion in the Northwest Territories, has recently been the site of several major diamond discoveries. (In order to pay off our mortgage, we wouldn’t mind finding a few of these rocks on our property. )
Both diamonds (which are some of the hardest materials on earth and used to cut just about anything) and graphite (which is one of the softest substances and used as a dry lubricant) are made of pure carbon. The difference is in what happened to the carbon during its development: thousands of years ago under extreme heat and pressure carbon was formed into diamonds.
It’s similar in the Christian life were intense heat and high pressure situations produce the true and precious Christ-like character in believers.
Peter writes about the heat aspect: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
(1 Peter 4:12-13, NASB)
James emphasizes the pressure aspect: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4, MSG)
While we might not like to hear this and would rather opt for a more comfortable and softer life, in the ones who stay focused on Jesus, heat and pressure are not destructive but constructive in that they build true Christ-like character. In this sense the saying is true that pressure builds character! But James also promises us: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12 NASB)
God allows us to go through some hard stuff: tests and challenges, trials and sufferings, pressures and fiery ordeals, so that we become stronger, mature and well-developed in the end, become approved and receive the crown of life.
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.