Pearls have been considered the most valuable and prized gems for thousands of years.
A pearl forms when an “irritant,” usually a parasite enters the mantle of a mollusk—an oyster or mussel. A defense mechanism commences by the production of a fluid, nacre (mother of pearl), which coats the intruder. Nacre, a composite of calcium carbonate and protein, is stronger than concrete. The parasite functions as the nucleus of the pearl and as layer upon layer of nacre continues to be produced, a beautiful pearl is formed.
God’s creation is amazing. He uses a parasite to create a gem!
The value of a natural pearl depends on its size, color, and surface quality. Currently the most expensive are the South Sea pearls which are primarily a white and gold color. The black pearl, also known as the Tahitian pearl, is produced by the black lip oyster. These pearls are gorgeous. Freshwater pearls can take between one to six years to form, and saltwater pearls from five to 20 years. The longer the pearl stays in the shell the larger it gets due to the continuous nacre coating.
The Bible talks about the costly pearl. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45, 46).
This parable shows that eternal life in Heaven is worth more than anything anyone could possibly have on earth. Earthly treasures are temporary, but those who believe in Jesus Christ would be wise to trade all the pleasures and riches of life on this earth for eternal life with Him in Heaven.
Revelation 21:18–21 describes the New Jerusalem, the home of the redeemed, as amazing to say the least. There are streets of gold with the twelve foundations made of precious stones all glittering and magnificent. “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was one pearl” (verse 21). How can the finite mind comprehend such a large pearl?
Oh, what monetary value man puts on such small gems. When we see the rich and famous with their little bobbles on their fingers and around their necks at such exorbitant cost, we cannot help but think of Heaven, where the precious jewels are construction elements!
Friend, Jesus considers You His jewel: “And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:17).
The trials you encounter in this life are nothing compared to the joys that will await you in the life to come.
One last thought: the next time someone calls you “irritating,” take heart, my friend. You could be a pearl in the making!