In the midst of my preparation for last week’s story – The Precious Pearl, i got curious. if you know me well or long enough, musing is part of my genetic make up and i like to wonder about things. i don’t always ask questions (i think) but i sure do muse internally, until the absorption propels me to find out why.
in this case, the question “where do pearls come from?” kept popping inside my head till i could not wait any longer. i had to know WHERE. and HOW. (okay, i know GOD made them but they had to form somehow, didn’t they? ) and the HOW blew me away.
Pearls come from way down under the ocean. People use to swim way down under the ocean to find oysters at the bottom of the sea. Then they brought these oysters up on the land.
The pearl itself actually begins as an irritant. Sand, a pebble, or a pesky parasitic organism gets inside the oyster’s shell. To reduce the irritation, the oyster coats the intruder with layers of a solid, slick material called nacre.
The oyster’s mantle tissue secretes the two main components of nacre: thin layers of the mineral aragonite and a gluelike substance called conchiolin, which cements the layers together. Because the aragonite is translucent, light interacts with the overlapping layers to give the finished pearl its lustrous appearance. Pearl molluscs also coat the inside of their own shells with nacre, so some shells picked up at a seashore are shiny and iridescent inside.
The layers of nacre smooth the shell surface and help defend the soft tissues against parasites and damaging debris by entombing them in successive layers of nacre, forming either a blister pearl attached to the interior of the shell, or a free pearl within the mantle tissues. The process is called is encystation and it continues as long as the mollusk lives.
If you have read the story from Matthew 13:45-46, the merchant sold all he had to purchase the precious pearl. Jesus gave up everything on the cross for us. He had to have us, the moment He saw us. We are that precious pearl.
i was rock bottom when Jesus found me. He saved me from the depths and gave me new ground to walk on. He put my feet back on the ground. i’m pretty sure i’m not the only one. And like the pearl, we began as an irritant. When Jesus died for us on the cross and we accepted Him as Lord and Savior, our life is hidden in Him. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God – Colossians 3:3
Now hidden in Him, He has coated us with nacre. nacre is strong, resilient and iridescent. the layers of nacre smoothen out the shell surface. Surrounding us with His glory, His being smoothens out our rough edges. No longer i, but Christ in me. Layer after layer. Besides being refined by Him, He protects us from danger and harm (parasites and damaging debris). This continues, as long as we live. What does the pearl look like now? no longer its’ initial irritable self, it is now beautiful. Reflecting light every which way you turn. It is fabulous, all round. We shine in the light of His glory. Precious, of great price, because of Him.
i will never read this story the same again.