Originally published on Discovering Truth Ministries and written by Jamie Wood

As I was walking along the beach one day, I came upon an oyster shell. It was cracked in half, and its contents had been removed, probably from a predator in the sky. I decided to pocket the shell fragments and bring them home to share with my boys how a desirable piece of jewelry comes from such an unsightly mollusk.

A pearl is formed when an irritant, such as a grain of sand or a bit of floating food, enters the shell of an oyster. Upon entry of this uninvited guest, the oyster begins wrapping it in layers of nacre to calm the irritation and protect itself—eventually, an iridescent gem forms.

Life is full of irritants and uninvited guests. They show up in the form of pressures, problems, and sometimes even people. You cannot always anticipate their arrival, but you can control your reaction. You can choose to do nothing and permit them to roll around unchecked in your life, leaving you raw and on edge. Or, you can begin encasing the irritant in layers of prayer, promises from God’s Word, and decisive worship. If you choose the latter, it will eventually result in priceless treasure. Sometimes the most difficult things in your life, if faced with the strength God provides, end up producing the most beautiful rewards.

Is there an irritant in your life God is using to produce a pearl of great worth within your character? Today, ask God for the vision to see how He might be using that person or challenge to create something beautiful within you.

Yours for a Thriving Legacy,

Jeff Rogers