You probably learned in school how genuine pearls are created. A small particle, such as a grain of sand, gets inside the shell of an oyster. For the oyster, this particle is an irritant. And so, to deal with this irritant, the oyster covers this particle with layers and layers of the material that lines the inside of the shell. Over time, this forms a pearl. Cool, huh? There’s even a parable about a pearl of great price in Matthew 13:45-46.
As a Christian, I can relate to the oyster. There are things in my life that can seem like irritants, things that I would rather not have to deal with. Prayers that haven’t been answered yet, unexpected challenges and other things that make life hard. But, as I’ve continued my walk with Christ, I’ve come to realize the immense potential these ‘irritants’ hold, and how often they are truly blessings in disguise.
And so, when an irritant comes my way, or when I continue to have to deal with the same one, I find encouragement thinking about the oyster. If I will let the Lord do His work in me, then I can trust that He will use those irritants to produce pearls in my life – the fruit of the Spirit, wisdom, answered prayer, and so on. And it is my goal not to merely endure these things, but to be joyful about it! Colossians 1:10-11 says “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” May the Lord enable me to be a joyful oyster!