the pearl’s secret

I recently learned something interesting – something I had never pondered before but now find intriguing -the secret of pearls. Oh, I don’t mean where they are found or in what sea creature. It is how pearls come to be, that is the mystery so recently revealed to me. Now for those of you who already know, perhaps you are thinking to yourselves, “how could anyone not know this?” Well, I have no excuse, I just never knew the whole story or secret of pearls until now.

I knew that pearls are found in oysters and clams and in other mollusks, but I was unaware of the process that brings pearls into being. I thought they just occurred naturally in nature. As it turns out, as Tom Hughes says in his book, “Down to Earth”, “A pearl . . . is the only precious stone that is created through pain.” He is referring to the pain of the oyster or clam when a grain of sand gets in and acts as an irritant, causing the organism pain. So the oyster or clam responds to their pain by secreting a fluid which hardens around the grain of sand. Under pressure inside the organism, a pearl is eventually formed.

Hughes says, “When we see a pearl, we see something that has been made lovely through the process of pain.” Who knew? Pain as a beauty treatment. But truth is stranger than fiction. And pain does perfect us if we let it. In Isaiah I read that God intends to –

“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,” (Isaiah 61:3) Job knew his pain was perfecting him. He said this –

“But He (God) knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) Paul says this about pain and suffering in Corinthians –

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Seems counterintuitive, but pain and pressure, trials and trouble, produce beauty and strength – not ugliness and weakness. James even says to count it all joy when pain enters into my life and I suffer. He says –

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2)

Imagine that – testing, painful trials, will leave me “complete, not lacking anything.” I just have to stay the course and endure the pain, allowing the process to do its work. Producing a pearl of great price takes time. God’s timing is always perfect. These words in Ecclesiastes reassure me there is a purpose in my pain. God is at work producing a pearl from a grain of sand, using the process of pressure and pain.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

This gives me hope. I won’t be in the oyster forever. So many I know are dealing with very painful things everyday. But we can be assured God is perfecting us in our pain and making us more and more like His Son Jesus. Hebrews tells me this –

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus endured the pain of the cross for you and for me. His pain paid my sin price, so that I could be reconciled to God, my Creator. He paid your price, too, dear readers. Something so good, eternal life, came from something so unspeakably painful, Jesus’s death on the cross. A lovely pearl is the result of a painful process. God will bring beauty out of my pain and suffering and out of yours, too. This is the hope that sustains during darkest times.

“You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)

sincerely, Grace Day

2 thoughts on “the pearl’s secret

  1. Knowing that God will not forsake the work of His hands & the pearl of great price is our holiness that is being formed by Him in the crucible of suffering makes the peace of submission possible while are in the middle of the fire. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    Psalm 138:8
    “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”


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