When was the last time you got a splinter in your finger? Do you remember how much it hurt? A splinter isn’t a life threatening malady, but it can be very irritating. Even though a splinter is tiny, the nagging pain is a constant reminder that a foreign particle has invaded our body. And it’s not going anywhere unless we remove it.
Many of us see our trials in life as splinters.
They’re irritating. No matter how small they may seem to others, they’re painful to us. And they won’t go away on their own. They’ve invaded our life so we try desperately to remove them as quickly as possible.
But sometimes God has purpose in putting trial splinters in our life.
Trials can produce precious pearls in the dark, salty waters of real life. How? Do you know how a pearl is formed? A pearl is the result of a natural process. It’s made by oysters and other mollusks. Oysters have two shells (top and bottom) which open and close to allow food in. But sometimes a foreign particle, like a small piece of broken shell, also slips in and it lodges between the oyster and its shell. It becomes an irritant. The oyster’s immediate reaction is to cover up the irritant and protect itself. It does this by adding layer upon layer of the same compound it uses to make the pearly underside of its shell. Over time this forms a beautiful sphere with its unmistakable lustre we call a pearl.
So too the trials in our life can produce beautiful pearls if we trust God and don’t try to remove the irritant.
Although our times of trial are painful, they’re the times in our life when we learn and change the most. Often an aspect of our life is handicapped and we’re forced to endure an irritant that we would much rather dislodge immediately. But it’s in this time of pain that we cry out for God. We seek Him with fervor. We pray and pursue Him in His Word. We may even try to negotiate our release from the pain. Yet our inability to remove the irritant ultimately brings us to a point of surrender. And we wait to see what God will create out of our splinter. All the while, the Lord is placing His special covering upon us.
If we trust God and don’t try to evacuate our shell in the hopes of finding a pain-free shell elsewhere, He will continue to work in us and our situation. And in His timing, a precious pearl of life will be revealed. A miracle of beauty.
Not all trials are long-term tests of faith that produce the rare pearls of life. But all trials can produce pearls of wisdom. Offer your painful trial splinter to God and let Him cover you in it. Wait and let His timing prevail. May you learn more about God and yourself. May you grow in strength and trust. And may the pearls that He creates and reveals adorn your life with beauty like a string of precious pearls.
“We consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11
May I pray?
Gracious God, You create beauty out of pain. You can turn the trials and irritants we try to remove into precious pearls that bless us in unimaginable ways. But we have to be willing to turn to You and endure the discomfort. Help us to trust You. Help us to believe that You will work all things for good. Help us to surrender to Your timing. And please, Lord, grant us pearls of wisdom as we grow closer to You. Amen.
Q4U: What trial splinter of your life is God turning into a precious pearl?