Fresh Hope – 12th November 2019

On my wedding day, my Dad gifted me with the most beautiful Tiffany and Co. pearl earrings and necklace. As stunning as the generous gift was, the way in which a pearl is cultivated is far less glamorous.

Pearls are made by oysters and freshwater mussels as a natural defence against an irritant such as a parasite entering their shell or damage to their fragile body!

That’s right! One of the most beautiful details of creation was formed under irritation!

Give a child anything he or she wants, whenever they want it and we all know that the adult they become will most likely be one of entitlement, and lacking in character. Why? Because the child has faced no irritation, it has been kept comfortable – it has got whatever it has wanted, whenever it has wanted it.

Irritation is good for us. It shapes us. One of the greatest dangers in becoming ‘comfortable’ in life is that our character, personhood, and faith, is no longer irritated, challenged and susceptible to beautiful growth. 

Pearls are what develop in the trenches of life, not the mountaintops. YOU develop in the trenches and pain of life. Giving thanks and praise during pain is not pain avoidance – it is acknowledging your pain and praising still. It is essential for your mental health, and the cultivation of ‘pearls’ of immense value in you.

‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ (James 1:2-4).

‘More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope’ (Romans 5:3).

 ‘I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10).

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us’ (Romans 8:18).

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.