Stringing Together a Necklace of Pearls

I used to think I was quite an all right person. Yes, I realised I had faults, like the occasional impatience and really needing to think things through before I said them. But God was working on me, I knew, and I thought He had almost finished sorting out most of my issues. I was doing pretty well, I thought.

That is, until I started a relationship.

You see, being in a relationship is like God holding up a mirror to your heart, and you suddenly see all the hidden faults and sins that you didn't think you had. When you are plunged into this unique, intimate sort of relationship with someone you many times haven't known very long, you find thoughts and feelings surfacing you hadn't known you were capable of. And to be perfectly honest… it can be frightening.

A great book I read speaks of every woman having a metaphorical necklace of pearls, where the pearls are all the godly qualities that God is shaping in your character. Every woman has some good pearls, and also some bad pearls. Our mission every day should be identifying these rotten pearls for what they are, surrendering them to God, and asking Him to transform them into beautiful pearls fit to be on the necklace of a daughter of the King. Just like the process of creating any pearl, whereby a grain of sand gets inside that soft, sensitive bit of the oyster and causes great pain and irritation, it will hurt. There will be pain, heartache, and times where you want to cry out and ask God to stop it all. No one said that being transformed into the image of Christ would be easy. But will it be worth it? Oh yes.

And so, before I launch out on the list of things I need to get done today, I take a quiet moment to stop. To be still. To listen, and set my heart in God's hands again. For only He can complete this utter transformation of our character. We can't do it of our own strength - no matter how hard we try. It is through His grace and sheer, unspeakable, inexplicable love for us that He takes these rotting pearls and crafts them into jewels of beauty. And if we give ourselves completely to Him, letting Him carry out the work He desires, we can rest in the joyful knowledge that we are being moulded into the image of Christ. No matter how long it takes, no matter the pain.

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." {Philippians 1:6}


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