Hidden from Sight

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed.”

Matthew 25:24–26

A talent is only useful when used to glorify God.

Unless you subscribe to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, you probably missed the story that was in the May 17, 1987 edition. A rock hound named Rob Cutshaw owns a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. Like many in the trade, he hunts for rocks, and then sells them to collectors or jewelry makers. He is no expert but he knows enough about rocks to decide which to pick up and sell, and which to leave behind. He leaves the appraising of his rocks to other people. As much as he enjoys the work, it doesn't always pay the bills.

While on a dig twenty years ago, Rob found a rock he described as “purdy and big.” He tried unsuccessfully to sell the specimen, and according to the Constitution, kept the rock under his bed or in his closet. He guessed the blue chunk could bring as much as $500 dollars, but he would have taken less if something urgent came up. That's how close Rob came to hawking for a few hundred dollars what turned out to be the largest, most valuable sapphire ever found. The blue rock that Rob had abandoned to the darkness of a closet two decades ago—now known as “The Star of David” sapphire—weighs nearly a pound, and could easily sell for $2.75 million.

While Rob could have traded in the rock and used the money he got back, he decided to keep it hidden. In much the same way, God has given each of us a valuable “rock” or talent. His desire is that we use our talent to honor and glorify Him, but many times, we can bury our talent and keep it hidden.

Christ illustrates this principle in the parable we see in our verses today. A wealthy businessman had given his servants money to invest while he was gone. The first two servants wisely invested the money and had a profit to give back to the businessman when he returned. But the third servant buried his talent and had no profit to present the businessman. He had failed to utilize the gift given him.

As Christians, God has given each of us a talent. It won’t be the same as everyone else’s talent, as is evidenced by the differing amounts of money given the servants in the parable. But God expects us to use our talent to its fullest so as to glorify Him.

What is your talent? Perhaps it’s teaching, singing, playing an instrument, organizing events, greeting others, handling finances, or other areas of expertise you may have. God has given you a talent that He desires for you to use for Him. If you do not know your talent, ask God to reveal it to you. Use your talent to its fullest so that God will be honored and glorified through your life.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org.

Daily Bible Reading
Leviticus 25• Mark 1:23-45

2/19/2009 22:27:38

Wanted more info - found this in People magazine!----
Publisher's LetterBy Donald M. Elliman Jr./Publisher
It appears we will be leaving no stone unturned. Recently PEOPLE published two stories about Roy Whetstine, a 47-year-old gem broker from Longview, Texas and his newly discovered humongous sapphire, known as the Star of America. Now Mr. Whetstine, meet Mr. Robert Cutshaw and his even more humongous sapphire.

The first story (Dec. 1, 1986) told how Whetstine had paid $10 at a Tucson gem show for a potato-size rock that turned out to be a 1,905-carat whopper, the largest pure crystal star sapphire ever found. The second story (Feb. 16, 1987) continued the saga of how Whetstine settled on master gem cutter John Robinson, 37, to cut the stone, freeing the star inside. When he finished, the Star of America sapphire was 1,154 carats, topping such dazzlers as the Star of India.

Robert Cutshaw, 43, a rock collector who lives alongside Highway 19 in Andrews, N.C., spotted the second story. It prompted him to reconsider a stone he had found 20 years before in one of his "holes" deep in the Great Smoky Mountains. He had periodically thought about cutting it, even put it on display several times at his small roadside rockshop, and would gladly have taken $100 for it. "I knowed it was a sapphire, and it was a purty blue, but I didn't have no real idear of what it was worth," says Cutshaw, a self-styled mountain man partial to such expressions as "shoot fahr" and "hot dang."

He telephoned Robinson, who had already gotten more than 100 calls from rock owners around the world who had seen the story and wanted to consult about their stones. "I couldn't believe what effect the story had," says Robinson. "I went to a gem show and I must have signed about a thousand copies of the magazine that people brought up to me." Intrigued, Robinson told Cutshaw what he told some others: Send the stone to his Dallas bank and he'd examine it with his banker as a witness.

Instead, Cutshaw and his brother, Lemuel, got into Lemuel's pickup and drove with the stone and a couple of pistols to Robinson's house near Dallas. "I didn't know him from Adam," says Cutshaw. "But I felt better when I saw he had a Bible up on the shelf right thar in the main room. I figured if he had a Bible, it might be okay."

As Cutshaw tells it, he said to Robinson, "If my rock ain't worth nothing except chunking out in the yard, you just tell me and it won't hurt my feelings none." Robinson took a look and declared the stone a monster, a killer gem. He wouldn't put a value on it but estimated its weight at 5,500 carats (he had to calculate; carat scales don't go that high). He predicted the finished stone will come in close to 3,000 carats. "It's head and shoulders above anything ever found," he says, and that includes Whetstine's Star of America. Robinson then called Kent Demaret, PEOPLE'S Houston correspondent, who had reported the first two stories, to find out if he was still on the sapphire beat.

Cutshaw is back home in Andrews. The newest world's largest sapphire, as yet unnamed, now rests in his bank rather than under the bed. Robinson will cut the stone within a few days, then Cutshaw will have it authenticated as a natural star sapphire by the Gemological Insitute of America.

There's still no price tag on the stone, but Whetstine's Star of America sapphire, uncut, was appraised at the time at $2.28 million. Cutshaw says he and his wife Rita, 24, who only last year moved with their baby daughter from a trailer to a rented house, have "always wanted us a paid-for house. Sometimes Rita has sort of dreamed about one with a pool in the back. Maybe we'll get it yet." Robinson, not given to overstatement, adds dryly, "Several of them, I think."


Leave a Reply.