- incredibly valuable
- formed through attrition and abrasion
- often found in the most unlikely and least promising of shells
- a precious commodity bourne from a grain of sand in the mollusk.
Interestingly, pearls are no longer an accidental rarity as farmers today will off-set the odds in their favour by inserting the single grain of sand in each shell to allow Nature to do its thing. Of course, in Jesus time, it was totally different – to find a pearl within a shell was a remarkable achievement.
What strikes me about the way a pearl is formed within the shell is the parallel it has with the process of person’s spiritual maturation and the fulfilment of potential. It happens like this:
- take what seems like a less than promising human and breathe God’s Holy Spirit in
- next, subject that person to challenges to refine their character and determination
- keep up this process over the years until….
- what emerges is a precious jewel made useful to God by the change that occurred within the person.
Whichever way you understand this scripture –
- by likening the pearl to the response made to Christ to follow after him?
- Or that the pearl represents an openness and receptivity to the work of the Holy Spirit within?
The bottom line is this: God is at work. And the good news is that the Divine can take the least promising person and make us into something spectacular. Be blessed.