The holiday season is always a great excuse for me and my husband, Michael, to get away on the road for a nice break from our busy, routine schedules. We often choose the Hill Country in Texas as our destination with its quaint towns, unique wineries with breathtaking views, and of course, antique shops galore!
During one of these road trips, we stopped off in Blanco and meandered into their Main Street antique shop. It was inside one of their glass cases that I noticed a very tarnished silver metal and turquoise pin:
The turquoise looked authentic, so my first thought was that underneath the tarnish, it must be sterling silver. The shop owner informed me it was definitely a vintage piece, but she was not sure of the type of metal used in the pin.
I flipped it over to look at the price and to my surprise, it was only nine dollars! Now, I have never in my life bought a real turquoise pin for a price that low. I figured I might have an incredible treasure if the metal turned out to be sterling silver, so I happily paid for it and polished it up as soon as we got home.
As I was vigorously rubbing the back of the pin with silver polish, I began to see the etching of the numbers: 925. That is the symbol for sterling silver! I was elated!
I did a little research about the design and discovered it was a Zuni petit point turquoise piece from the 1970s. It was designed by one of the many Native American Indian tribes who developed their own style using turquoise in their designs. This was definitely an incredible treasure!
December’s Birthstone, Turquoise
Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for December.
The name “turquoise” is derived from the French, pierre turquoise, meaning “Turkish stone.” It got its name due to the trade routes that brought turquoise to Europe. It came from the mines in central Asia and then went through Turkey. Venetian merchants often purchased turquoise at Turkish bazaars.
Turquoise is an opaque mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum. It is found in stunning hues of blue, bluish-green, green, and yellowish-green. Blue minerals are quite rare in general, so turquoise has become very desirable, especially in the robin’s egg blue color.
Turquoise has been treasured as a gemstone for thousands of years, used in manufacturing jewelry and ornamental objects. It has become so well-known that the word is commonly used in the English language as the name of the blue-green color.
I remember recently using the word when my husband and I were in Colorado visiting my sister and her family. As we were walking in the downtown area of Colorado Springs, I said to Michael, “What a great pop of color on this building! Let’s get our picture taken in front of this turquoise post!” Like a good husband, he complied.
Turquoise forms best in an arid climate. Significant amounts have been found in New Mexico and Nevada. Currently, Arizona is the leading turquoise-producing state.
Only a very small amount of turquoise that is mined today can be used without some type of treatment. Untreated turquoise is very rare. When it comes straight from the mine, the turquoise is usually too soft, porous, and fragile for manufacturing into jewelry because it can easily break or crumble. Once it is stabilized with a polymer or other binding material, it is then durable enough to be cut and used in making jewelry. This is called stabilized turquoise.
In Instability We Trust
This world we live in is a lot like turquoise – very fragile and unstable. Even so, we can often find ourselves putting our trust in it. We trust in the “stable” company in which we have worked for years. We trust in our nicely padded “stable” bank account. And we trust in the “stability” of our loyal friends and family. At least for a little while.
Then, all of a sudden something happens to break that trust. The company to which you have given hours and hours of your precious time and energy tells you they are downsizing and your job is no longer. You have an unexpected health crisis and your bank account quickly begins to diminish. And your significant other whom you thought was so loyal, falls in love with someone else. All of that so-called “stability” has now crumbled.
Strong and Unshakable
So where do you turn when everything in life seems so unstable? Elohim, which comes from the Hebrew meaning “strength” or “power” is the first name for God found in the Bible and is used in the Old Testament over 2,300 times! God is described throughout His Word as a strong tower, rock, fortress, and refuge. Exactly what we need when everything around us is crumbling and falling apart!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The man who does what is right runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:6
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
When you grow in your knowledge of God, you begin to understand how powerfully strong and unshakable He really is. So different from the world we live in! It becomes much easier to run to Him for your stability when you truly know Him. That is because you can fully trust Him to provide exactly what you need…a dependable place of shelter, protection, and security.
Spend Time with God
If you want to get to know someone, you have to spend time with them. To get to know God, you must spend time in His Word which is how He speaks to you. The Bible is filled with His stable promises and everything you need to know about His steadfast character. He is faithful, unchanging, and completely unshakable. When the things in your life begin to lose their stability, God is right there to hold you steady. There is no reason to fear the instability around you because God is your strong tower, your solid rock, and your safe refuge.
Spending time with God also includes talking to Him frequently in prayer…thanking Him for all He does for you and telling Him about your hopes and dreams, your greatest needs, and your deepest desires. As you become closer and more intimate in your relationship with Him, you will be able to experience His deep love for you to the fullest.
Your trust will grow and grow and you will lean less and less on your own understanding of things and start to acknowledge Him in everything you do. Soon, you will begin to notice that your hopes, dreams, needs, and desires will change over time to align much more closely with God’s perfect plans and purposes for your life.
Become Rooted in Christ
We recently took a trip to Houston for Michael’s 30th high school reunion. Before arriving at the big event, we drove around his old neighborhood. He found the street he used to live on and pointed out to me his memory-filled home. In the front yard was an enormous tree that was planted by his family 33 years ago. Back then, it was a tiny little sapling. But by now, it had reached a height far above the roof of the house:
As a tree grows taller, its roots grow deeper and the tree becomes more established. The word established comes from the Latin stabiles, meaning “firm, steady, or stable.” The roots, essential for life, carry water and nourishment to the rest of the tree. The depth of the roots, however, depends on the soil and climate conditions.
As you grow closer to God and become more nourished through reading His Word and spending time with Him in prayer, your roots grow deeper. The more time you spend with Him the greater your trust becomes in the One who gives you His strength with no need to fear when things become unstable all around you. Similar to when a tree is deeply rooted after many years from when it was first planted, it does not have to fear heat or drought.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Our Solid Rock
In 1834, Edward Mote wrote a well-known hymn about having our stability in Christ. Here is the second stanza of his hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less:”
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Just like turquoise, when you add a source of true stability, you become strong and can resist crumbling from the uncertainties in life. That stability can only be found in Christ alone, our solid Rock. And just like robin’s egg blue turquoise (and that Zuni petit point pin), an incredible treasure.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to help you trust Him when things start to crumble around you, knowing His plans and purposes for your life are perfect.
Sparkler #2: Action
Make it a priority to spend time each day in God’s Word and talking to Him in prayer so you can get to know His steadfast character to help you build your trust in Him.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Write down your fears – the things in your life that have no stability. Then, write down the scriptures that describe God as a strong tower, rock, fortress, refuge, and strength. Read them out loud each day as a good reminder that true stability can only be found in Him.
*Turquoise – photo credit: Tim Evanson
Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com.
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