Today’s Scripture: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. JamesĀ 1:3-4

When your wife has an important event to attend, or it’s the night of your anniversary dinner (which you hopefully remembered), she starts digging her pearls out of the jewelry box. What exactly makes these little spheres so special… and costly? Since Heaven’s gates will be composed of them, I figured it was worth a look. It turns out that these priceless gems serve as a very realistic portrait of the Christian life.

The formation of a pearl is a miraculous event. Unlike gemstones or precious metals that must be dug from the earth, pearls are grown inside oysters far below the ocean’s surface. Gemstones must be cut and polished in order for their beauty to emerge, but pearls require no external treatment to reveal their beauty. They are extracted from oysters complete with a shimmering iridescence and unique inner glow unlike any other gem on earth.

A natural pearl begins its life as a foreign object, such as a parasite or grain of sand that lodges itself in an oyster’s soft inner body. To ease this irritant, the oyster’s body secretes a smooth, hard crystalline substance (known as nacre) around the irritant in order to protect itself. As long as the irritant resides within it, the oyster continues to secrete nacre around it, layer upon layer. Over time, the once painful object will be completely encased by the silky crystalline coatings. The end result: a priceless gem.

The Lord often brings circumstances into our lives that we cannot understand. They are irritating, frustrating, difficult, unexplainable, and try the very fiber of our being. Sometimes these irritants are left in our lives for weeks, months, maybe even years with no resolution. When we protect ourselves by coating each situation with prayer, Scripture, and counsel, the result that emerges is nothing short of spectacular-just like the oyster and the pearl.

When the Lord asks you what you did with those trials, do you want to have pearls in the crown you lay down at his feet? Your Heavenly Father has a myriad of circumstances that are coming your way to make you what He wants you to be. Will you clam up, or will you choose to form pearls from your trials?

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.