In Jentzen Franklin’s book, Acres of Diamonds, he writes a true story about a man named Russell Conwell.
In the late 1800’s, Russell Conwell hired a guide and went to tour the Middle East. One night around the campfire his tour guide told him a story. When Russell got home, he put this story in a pamphlet which proceeded to sell 7million copies. He then gave a speech on it 6,000 times. Imagine selling that many copies and giving that many speeches in the 1800’s without social media, tv or radio ads. With the money he made from telling this story he built Temple University in Pennsylvania.
There was a farmer in South Africa by the name of Ollie Hafid. He had a simple life, a family, a plow, an ox and land to work. He was content.
One day, a traveler came by and said it’s a shame you have to work so hard to make a living. He asked if he had heard about the diamond discovery in India? The traveler then said, “You should just go to India and become wealthy!”
That night, even though Ollie had a pretty good life, because of what the traveler said, he became discontent and decided to go to India. Ollie sold the farm, the plow and the ox. He took his money, hugged his wife and children goodbye and said, “When I get back, we’ll be so wealthy, you’ll sit on thrones.”
He went to India and searched and searched but never found any diamonds. He wrote a note home to his wife that said, “There are no diamonds anywhere.” He then jumped into a raging river and Ollie died.
The man who bought Ollie Hafid’s farm worked the same land with the same plow and the same Ox. He also lived a content life. One day while plowing the field he noticed black rocks in his way. Every few feet he would have to stop and throw more of these rocks to the side of the field. Finally, he came across a really big one and noticed that when the sun hit it the rock would shine with a rainbow. He thought it was beautiful so he took the rock in and placed it on his mantle.
One day a priest came by to welcome the new farmer to the community and the priest noticed the rock. The priest asked Ollie where he got the rock. He told him about all the rocks in his field. The priest then informed the farmer that those annoying rocks weren’t just rocks but were diamonds in the rough.
Sure enough, their investigation revealed those annoying black rocks were diamonds and the one on his mantle was worth $25,000 in the 1800’s!
This discovery was the birth of the world’s largest diamond mine and the famous Golando diamond mine in South Africa. It’s still operational to this day.
Ollie sold his land because he didn’t think the land was good enough. He thought things would be better somewhere else. He died a tragic death after a failed effort in seeking fortunes elsewhere never realizing he had more riches than anyone.
Where you are, the field that God has planted you in, is loaded with potential. Instead of just looking at the potential you have within yourself, let’s think of the people you are called to serve.
It’s so easy to look where the grass might be greener but the grass could just be greener because of a broken septic tank!
We all have a responsibility to help cultivate the gifts and graces in those around us; to cause them to outshine us!
God has put acres of diamonds in the field He has put you in.
Sometime when you look around, it might be difficult to see the potential. You might be tempted, especially in difficult seasons, to quit or fire people or find new help. Everything just seems to get too hard! I’m sure you know this but diamonds are made from rocks. When things just get too hard for a rock, too much heat or too much pressure, it turns it into a diamond.
Psalms 119:18 says, “Open my eyes that I might see wonderous things from your law.” There are wonderous things all around you. You need to ask God to open your eyes.
Remember, you’re living in acres of diamonds. There’s fresh potential waiting for your voice to make them shine.