Pearls are made when a foreign object becomes caught inside of an oyster. The object wounds the oyster. The wound is enclosed and inescapable.
In reaction to the wound, the oyster releases a substance called nacre that coats the intruding object. As thousands of layers of nacre coat the object, a pearl is formed. It takes seven to eight years — an oyster’s full lifespan — to form a pearl.
Pearls are created by irritation.
You and I will face painful situations in life that are inescapable. They intrude upon us without invitation. We cannot run from them. They box us in. They are part of living in this fallen world. But they are also orchestrated by a sovereign God.
For what reason? To work pearl into us. At such times, we can either let the Lord Jesus turn our painful experience into a pearl, or we can become embittered and blame others, including God.
In the latter case, the wound never heals. As Hebrews says, bitterness will spring up within you and defile many (12:15).
Allowing yourself to become bitter is like drinking poison and waiting for the person who hurt you to get sick. More Christians have been destroyed by bitterness than probably any other thing in existence.
On the contrary, those Christians who have allowed the Lord to work pearl into them, without becoming embittered, are precious in the kingdom of God. They emit the fragrance and beauty of Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from From Eternity to Here.