November 21, 2009
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2
Many of the ladies listening to me have pearl earrings, a pearl pin, or a pearl ring.
Have you ever considered how a pearl is the product of pain?
Those who know such things tell me that when a foreign substance -- an irritant, usually a grain of sand -- gets into the oyster's shell, it causes pain. That's when the oyster coats the grain of sand with a substance called nacre; layer after layer coats the irritant.
The end result is the formation of a beautiful pearl.
The custom, I've noticed, is not confined to pearls. Some of the wonderful people I am blessed to know have done much the same thing in their lives.
Somehow, somewhere, sin and Satan managed to introduce an irritant into their lives. It may be something small or it can be something terrible and tragic.
Now these people could allow the irritant to destroy them. They could, but they don't. Instead of giving in to despair, they go to the Lord. Through His Word and Sacrament, through the ministrations of the Holy Spirit, these suffering souls are given hope with their trouble and peace for their hearts.
Truly, the Lord gives them layer after layer of His help so their pain is covered and they can be at ease once more.
But God provides a better benefit that the mere disappearance of pain.
These people, having conquered their problem by God's grace, often find a beautiful pearl has been produced inside them, and their lives take on a value they didn't have before.
And they know God has given them something wonderful, beautiful, and valuable.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear gracious and merciful Lord, I give thanks in Your steadfast love You have removed my sins; that You have through Jesus' blood, washed me from my transgressions. Now I ask You for Your help in conquering the remaining irritants in my life. Make of my life a beautiful witness to Jesus, my Savior. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries