fragile pearls

September 18, 2012

I was staring in the jewelry case at Macy’s where a beautiful pearl ring was staring back at me. It was perfect.

As the jeweler pulled the delicate ring from the case I asked if there was a protection policy. That was a must if I were to buy this ring since I had broken the last 2 pearl rings I had purchased.

The lady smiled and pulled out a pamphlet that showed me the warranty at a decent cost. I’ll never forget what she said. “Pearl rings are fragile. Don’t wash your hands with it on. Don’t put on lotions with it. Think of them as a sponge. It soaks up anything that is around it.”

I bought that pearl ring that day. And having that warranty made me feel so much better about my purchase, but still I was so careful. I followed the jeweler’s instructions.


“One of life’s most costly and beautiful objects is born out of pain and irritation. A tiny piece of sand slips into an oyster shell and begins to rub against the soft tissue, causing irritation. In response to the irritation, the oyster produces a hard substance. This substance eventually develops into one of the world’s most beautiful jewels. In fact, the greater the irritation, the more valuable the pearl!”

I think we can all relate to the the irritants of life- the things that disturb us, rub us the wrong way, that cause pain and discomfort. That’s what creates beauty. It’s what produces character, if we allow it to. If we fight it, we will probably just become cynical or rebellious of our true calling.

Once we overcome these trials, what do we do with our life then? Can we go back to our old ways? I can’t help but think back to the instructions that jeweler gave me: “Pearls are fragile…Think of them as a sponge. It soaks up anything that is around it.” Isn’t the same true about life? “Your life is fragile… think of it as a sponge. You soak up anything that is around you.” Trials often show us how fragile we are, and how fragile life is. What if we treated our lives as if they are the pearl God intends us to be?

I think of that pearl on my hand. I sticks out a little so I’m careful not to bump or bruise it. I know it’s a sponge, so I don’t let it soak up anything that would harm it. If I treated my life like I treat this pearl maybe I’d be better off.

Today I looked down at my hand when something felt strange. On my ring finger was my silver detailed ring, but no pearl. Normally at this point I’d be quite upset wondering where I would find a new perfect ring at a reasonable cost. I had done everything right, but still (like life) a pearl exposed to harsh conditions is susceptible to damage.

But thank goodness for my warranty – And not just the one I have at Macy’s. Thank God for the warranty that His grace is sufficient in my weakness! I believe God calls us to a higher standard than this world holds us to. That means we aren’t supposed to soak up all of the things that could harm us. But life happens, right? Whether it’s by circumstance or my own doing, the pearls that God has made us into can be susceptible to just about anything. But no matter what, we are still pearls. No matter what we are still beautiful to Him. No matter what is thrown our way, God can restore us to beauty.




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