I thought the ring was pretty and shiny, and it was a very inexpensive reminder of the suffering and persecution some endure for the Lord. What I didn't expect was the lesson the Lord was going to quickly teach me through something so small.
This morning, during our church's worship service, I glanced down and noticed the light reflecting off of my ring. It was glistening and shining in the very dimly lit room. I heard the still small voice of the Lord whisper his truth to me, "That's what I'm doing with you. I'm refining you, so that you'll show my beauty." Immediately, tears filled my eyes. You never know when the Lord's voice is going to be evident in your life.
You see, God chose an oyster shell as a safe haven of redemption for this pearl. Out of all the sand in the ocean, he handpicked those elect few to make this particular masterpiece. He pulled them, morsels of grit and dirt, into a dark shell. And, after time nothing but a beautiful pearl was left.
Can you feel him doing that in your life? Maybe your the sand, waiting to be harvested. You feel like one out of an entire sea, and life just seems to be passing you over. Or, maybe you find yourself in a dark and lonely shell, being rubbed raw by the gritty things of this earth. Or, perhaps you can now see the work the Lord was doing, because all of those moments of refinement have produced fruit in your life. Wherever you are, draw near to Him. He is there, in every season and process of life.
For months (and, I guess even years) I've felt a little like the sand in the shell. I definitely felt that the Lord was refining me for His work, but I couldn't see the beauty that was sure to come. Those seasons of life feel long and even endless, at times, but they are necessary if we are to produce fruit.
Now, I'm beginning to see the shell open, and the light to enter. I'm starting to see the benefits of refinement and the redemption of bad situations. And now, more than ever, I praise my God for His goodness.
Psalm 23:6 says, "SURELY goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
I believe that. He is SO good to me.