Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011
in Emotional, Relational, Values
Christmas 2009 I lucked out; really, I did. I wanted to buy Amy a nice gift, but I didn’t know what to get her. She had mentioned several mundane items that she wanted, but none of them shouted “You are special!”.
I know that Amy loves jewelry so I went shopping. Kohl’s is where I found a pretty string of pearls for a price I was willing to pay. Kohl’s made some money. Amy loved her pearls, and I finally got a present right.
I am fascinated by pearls and how they are created.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, contrary to popular belief, pearls hardly ever result from a grain of sand in an oyster’s shell. Instead, a pearl forms when an irritant such as a wayward food particle becomes trapped inside the shell. The animal senses the object and coats it with layers of the same substances the animal uses to build its shell.
Gary Smalley’s 12 ways to keep your love alive says people are like oysters:
2. Every painful trial is like an oyster, and there is a precious pearl—a personal benefit—in every one; every single one.
In the midst of a difficult time of life many of us look for answers and solutions, but trials seldom seem like a blessing at first.
1. How do you define hope?
2. When was a time in your life that you felt like you’d lost hope?
3. What do you tend to see when you’ve lost hope?
4. Is there any rubble in your life right now that is threatening your ability to see anything else?
5. Have you ever gotten a gift from God in a hopeless time of your life that enabled you to see more?
Trials seldom seem like a blessing at first, but “we can rejoice…when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” [Romans 5:3-5]
Think of someone in your life right now that is like an oyster. He or she is in the middle of a “painful trial”, maybe it’s you.
Don’t Hide, Hope Helps!
If there is a painful part of your life that is making it difficult to see anything else, find someone to tell. Be honest about how hard it is, and about what you feel like you need from God. Have that person pray for you so that you might see more than your trials and troubles.
I learned that “God has given the oyster a way to ease that pain. When a grain of sand gets in there, the oyster oozes out a liquid that coats the grain of sand and then it hardens. The oyster keeps doing this over and over until the grain of sand no longer causes pain. This is how these pearls are made. Something that started out being painful turned into something very beautiful and valuable.
The same thing happens to us. Sometimes something comes into our life that causes a lot of hurt and pain. When that happens, God gives us something to help ease the pain. He gives us His love. If we ask Him to, He will ooze out His love to ease our pain and suffering. Often what started out to be very painful in our life can turn into something beautiful.” **
* These questions came from Church of the Open Door weekly “Message Tool” that followed Dave Johnson’s October 18, 2009 sermon entitled Where’s Your Hope?
** From Sermons4kids’ Making Pearls