“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.” (Matt. 13:45)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 13:45-46
It is tough to watch a child suffer from cystic fibrosis. Yet witnessing a seven year old do just that changed my perspective on suffering forever. A particularly hard day of difficult breathing sent this little boy on a visit to the hospital, where our paths crossed. Upon arrival, his mom prayed over him. He then looked up at her and said, “Mom, do you know why we suffer?”
“No, honey. Why?” she said.
“The reason we have suffering is so we are reminded we don’t belong here.”
Like a pearl, the church is the product of suffering; and the merchant, Christ, in pain and distress, gave everything He had for it. His death on the cross made its birth possible. A pearl grows gradually, as does the church. No one can see the making of this fabulous gem. Hidden inside the oyster shell, a defense mechanism in fluid form is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of the coating covers the pearl until a lustrous gem is formed.
Like a pearl, the church’s transformation is often hidden from the world as well. The church among the nations has encountered many “irritants” since the beginning of its formation after Jesus’ resurrection and return to heaven. One day it will be revealed in all its splendor. What a day that will be!
Remind a hurting friend of our invaluable final dwelling place.
S. Schulz wrote devotionals for earlier editions of Light from the Word. They have been drawn from the archives and reprinted for this publication.
© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.