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Searching for Pearls.

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.

When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Matthew 13:45-46

Who doesn’t want to be chosen? Makes me think of the familiar elementary school chant, ‘Red rover, red rover, let…Mary come over!’

Y’all remember that game?

Upon hearing my name, I’d dash from my line up of about five or so school mates and attempt to break through the opposing hand-linked chain.

Whether or not I overpowered the strength of those at the other end of the playground, I could always count on either a stomach ache or bruised ribs for having tried.

But the thrill was in being chosen.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. John 15:16

While I’m created by God with a desire to be chosen, He might choose me to suffer. Given the suffering of His one and only Son for the atonement of sin, it should not surprise or rouse fury within me that He’d also choose me to face difficulty.

Paul welcomed suffering, viewing it as the most effective way to identify with Christ.

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. Philippians 3:10

Let that sink in.

When life becomes increasingly difficult, rather than lash out with, “I’m drowning here, Lord!” (as if He’s had a sudden brain lapse and is unaware), I’m learning to become a skilled diver and search for pearls while in the depths of the sea.

The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls. Julius Richter (Streams in the Desert)

For dives of greater depths, divers were known to tie stones to their body to assist with descent. This also minimized energy spent on diving to the pearl beds and served as a ballast while they searched.

The weight of suffering can feel like a burden threatening to drown. But it’s actually an opportunity to search for treasure. The lasting kind. That of knowing Christ more fully.

The kind I’d sell all I had in order to claim.

Speaking of pearls…I loaned my one and only strand to my daughter back in May so she could wear them to prom. If memory serves, she chose not to wear them after all, but those precious pearls have yet to find their way back to my jewelry box.

Hmmm. Looks like I’ve got to go search for those pearls, too.

What about you? What weight of suffering are you carrying? How can you view greater depths as an opportunity to search for treasure?










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