Pearls owe their existence to irritation.

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And now for a lesson on pearls.

Did you know that pearls owe their existence to irritation?

The pearl is a product of some species of oysters and other shell-fish, formally called bivalve mollusks. A pearl is formed when irritants become lodged in the soft tissue inside an oyster’s shell, and, to protect itself, the oyster produces a coating for the irritant. This coating, called nacre, builds up in many thin layers and creates an iridescent cover over the irritant. The resulting product is a pearl.

Natural, or wild pearls, are very rare and, therefore, much more expensive than cultured or manufactured pearls. Natural pearls result from a piece of sand accidentally implanting itself into the oyster. A manufactured pearl is one that has been pried open and a small piece of shell is implanted (an irritant), the oyster is closed back up and then in about six months, voila…you’ve got a pearl!

What is currently irritating you? Is it circumstances beyond your control? Is it a person you work with, live with, go to church with? Who or what is your source of irritation?

I wonder how often irritation is random, and how often it is by design. Like the manufacturer of cultured pearls, God often times pries us open and implants an irritant in order to produce a pearl. It might take a while to discover the pearl, and of course, we can spit the irritant out and miss the pearl all together.

I have come to believe that inside every irritation is a potential pearl.

Now go back to the source of irritation that came to mind a few moments ago. Ask yourself:

  1. What might the Father be trying to say to me through this irritation?
  2. What lesson might God be attempting to teach me from that irritating person?
  3. Are there any ways that I might have contributed to the problem?
  4. I wonder who it is that I might be irritating?
  5. Is there anything I can do about that?