There are two types of pearls, natural pearls and cultured pearls….the difference between these two are solely in the process.
A natural pearl is created when a piece of sand slips into the shell of an oyster causing an irritation this irritation continues until a natural pearl is formed. A cultured pearl is created with help, a slit is made in the tissue of the flesh of the oyster and an irritation is inserted thus beginning the process of developing a cultured pearl. Both processes create a pearl..both processes involve an irritation too.
When God is working on us we as humans want to “help” the process along on our own when all God wants us to do is let this process continue naturally…the irritation, frustration or discouragement is allowed by God to perfect these “pearls” in us not to make us quit, if you are struggling with the process don’t quit now something important is happening in you. The key in the formation of the pearl is not the environment, or even the shell, it is all about the piece of sand, it causes the irritation that eventually forms a pearl…God allows the enemy to put these irritations in us that create pearls… When we don’t use this irritation to our benefit we are settling for a spiritual cultured pearl…we have to allow the natural process to occur so we can gain the true pearl God wanted us to have!
Have you ever been on a walk or hike and you get a rock in your shoe? This can hurt really bad until you get it out of your shoe, sometimes it isn’t even super noticeable at first you just kind of feel like something just isn’t right. It is funny because most times it is a tiny rock that has been so bothersome to you! I have this one pair of shoes that I get rocks in my shoes all the time, but you know after a while you can kind of get used to it being there, unless it is a really big rock.
I feel like our walk with God works this way too, we can be walking along and all of the sudden we start dealing with some spiritual rocks, these could be come from another person, from frustration or just plain discouragement… We are walking along feeling great when all of a sudden you are hit with a rock from the enemy, it could be anger, jealousy or just carnality. We tend to want to become angry or frustrated when this happens but what God really wants us to do is save it, learn from it use it to build an altar in our life!!
Deu_27:5 And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.
God was telling them to just use the natural stone to build their altars, God saw altars built with carved or hewed stone as unsacred and unfit to perform sacrifices on! I feel like He thinks the same about our altars when we try to interfere in the building process! We need to let God be God in us!
Look at Naomi she endured the death of her husband her sons and the separation from one of her daughters in law, also she no longer had a name when she returned home. Those are some pretty rough rocks to deal with! But God gave her a sweet daughter in law named Ruth who cared for her so much she was willing to leave everything for her! Ruth was dealing with a lot of stuff herself, the death of her husband, and moving to a new country.
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
She wanted to take care of Naomi and she took it very seriously she sought out a relative who could take care of them…she married Boaz and had a son. The beauty of all of this is that Boaz became a kinsman redeemer to Naomi this gave her former husband and her a name in their country again, and Ruth was put into the lineage of David and Jesus! They took the big rocks in their shoes and slowly built an altar to God and He honored them both for it!
Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
Ruth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
There are probably many examples we can think of concerning struggles, but two more I want to mention are Joseph and Job.
Job lost his wealth and children in one day…talk about rocks in your shoes this man had them and really he had every reason to give up…but he used those rocks to build an altar to God, and in the end God restored back to him all that he had lost and then some!!! In this story it seems to me he didn’t have anyone shouting his praises or encouraging him to go on….sometimes we won’t have anyone and that is the way God wants it because we will depend on Him…Just keeping piling up the rocks…keep building!
Joseph was a dreamer, not sure how many of you are dreamers, but I know I am a bit of one and for dreamers Joseph’s story could be scary! He told his brothers and father about his dreams he was having and they mocked him and because of the jealousy of his brothers they sold him into slavery, he went to prison after being false accused….but through all the rocks God gave him favor, He watched over him every step of the way! The altar he built before God led him to be a savior of his family…the dreams he had did come true, God made him a very powerful man!
My point is to make you realize we all have irritations, frustrations, hard times and stuff…rocks as I like to call them, but they are all coming because God is perfecting us, He is wanting us to build an altar with them so we can give ourselves as a living sacrifice…don’t quit God is still working in you, He wants the natural pearls not the cultured ones…but to get them there are going to be rocks and irritations, but trust Him in the process of building up your altar and remember…
The question is what will you do with the rocks you find in your shoes? Will you throw them at someone, will you let them destroy you or will you build an altar with them?
we know that all things work together for good to them that
Rom 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.