Beloved Pearl

By on January 11, 2014

By Norine Rae –

It was the Sunday before Christmas, and I was honored to be able to speak to our small congregation in China. Week’s prior to that day the Lord had spoken to me teach on pearls and give everyone a pearl to remember the message by. So for weeks I had studied and prepared, listened to and read various sermons, sought God for revelation, and studied scriptures.

Now was the moment and my heart was full of wonder as to how the peoples hearts would be touched by the stories and scriptures I shared on the ‘beloved pearl.’ I shared the way pearls are formed as they stay in the heart of the oyster. I even brought an oyster that I had gotten on one of my trips in China. This oyster was full of beautiful large colored pearls. As the shop attendant opened it, people came in from the street to marvel at the size and beauty of the eighteen pearls found within this one oyster. It was a unique and special gift from the Lord.

There were three other stories that I shared that day and each was a demonstration of the love and redemption in our lives as we live with Christ. I began by showing the oyster shell and teaching how the inside of the oyster secretes from it’s own shell onto a piece of sand or particle lodged within it.  This substance acts as an irritation to the oyster. It is thought that it may even cause pain to the oyster. The inside of the oyster’s shell is called ‘the mother of pearl.’ From the ‘mother of pearl’ – it’s very nature – the pearl is formed.

The longer the pearl ‘rests‘ within the oyster the larger and more valuable it becomes. The Lord is also forming us as we ‘rest’ in Him. We too take on His nature the more we spend time with Him.

Unlike other precious stones, the tools of man do not increase the value of pearl. Its intrinsic beauty is fully given by its maker who actually has to die in order for the pearl to be seen. Christ gave His life and redeemed us. As we love those around us who are sometime irritating or even foreign to us they too in turn begin to take on the nature of Christ through our love thus becoming pearls themselves.

One of the stories I shared was about a pearl that I lost three times from a precious ring given to me by my mom. The ring is very important to me because my father had given it to my mother over fifty years ago (My Father has sense gone to be with the Lord.). Each time I lost one of the pearls from the ring the Lord miraculously gave it back to me. The lesson is one that demonstrates the nature of His love in that He truly cares about the things that concern us.

The second story was one I had been told as a child: There was little girl who loved a pearl necklace. Her Father asks her several times to give him the necklace, but she was reluctant because she was so fond of it even though it had lost its luster. Finally, one night she hesitantly hands him the necklace with tears in her eyes. Her father also had a tear running down his cheek as he took a box out of his pocket containing a real pearl necklace.

Here our Father is teaching us about His abiding love and understanding how difficult it is for us to let go of things that are worn. He wants us to trust Him knowing he has greater gifts for us. Stop a moment and ask yourself if there are things you need to let go of.  Once you release them, trust that He will give you something of far greater worth. God has great gifts for us!

Finally, the third story was one of a lovely Mikimoto pearl necklace, which had been given to me. It was extremely valuable and a family heirloom from my husband’s family. I loved wearing it on special occasions, as it was luxurious, and when I put it on I felt so beautiful. During our divorce proceedings I was asked to return it to the family and it was extremely difficult for me to do. Not just because I loved the pearls (a thing), but also because I loved my husband.

I felt, by returning the pearl necklace it meant that our relationship was truly over. It actually ripped at my heart as I sent it back to his mother for I was still holding onto the possibility of reconciliation. Yet, I treasured my relationship with my ex-husband and his family much more than I valued the necklace. So, I boxed it up and returned it also choosing to love and forgive those who had hurt me in this process.

Even today I have a wonderful relationship with his family and I am so grateful that the Lord taught me through those pearls the importance of once again letting go, forgiving, loving and moving forward. Surely, I am – blessed by God! He has taught me to love and that in His love He redeems all things: For He is good, and He loves us so much. After finishing the message, I gave everyone two pearls. One pearl was for them and the other was to give away as they shared the story of the ‘beloved pearl.’

But this is not the end of the story…On Christmas night, I was asked by dear friends to celebrate Christmas with them. They had been at the service on Sunday when I spoke. Once we had all eaten and were sitting around sharing our hearts my friends brought out an enchanting wooden box and handed it to me.

When I opened the box I was stunned to see a beautiful long strand of pearls. Perhaps for a moment I went into shock, as I couldn’t even speak. Yes, tears fell from my cheeks as I marveled at the love of our God and my wonderful friends. This pearl necklace may not have the financial assessed value of the Mikimoto pearls, but their worth is so much more to me as they once again show God’s love and redeeming power.

Jesus loves each and every one of us and desires for us to know how valuable we are to Him. Open your heart to Him, release to Him the things that you have held so tightly, trust Him, and let Him bless you as you rest in Him. For YOU are His “beloved pearl!”

 

Norine Rae

About Norine Rae

Norine Rae resides in Redding, California where she is a member of Bethel Church. In 2012 she completed her Master’s in Intellectual Leadership from A.W. Tozer Seminary through Simpson University. She has worked over 30 years in Human Services fields and has done extensive work in ministry, missions, and leadership both foreign and domestic. She is a lifelong learner, international speaker, minister, writer, mother, and friend. You will find her at: http://www.aimadventures.org/blog/ or NorineRae.com.

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Beloved Pearl