There are many things in life that causes us to be irritated. Even the littlest of things can become a source of it. But what many of us do not know is this: Life on earth would not be worth much if every source of irritation were removed. Yet most of us rebel against the things that irritate us, and count as heavy loss what ought to be rich gain. Here’s a classic illustration in order to understand this: We are told that the oyster is wiser; that when an irritating object, like a bit of sand, gets under the "mantle" of his shell, he simply covers it with the most precious part of his being and makes of it a pearl. The irritation that it was causing is stopped by encrusting it with the pearly formation. A true pearl is therefore simply a victory over irritation. If we will allow this simple illustration to come ringing true into our hearts and minds, the result is clear: Every irritation that gets into our lives today is an opportunity for pearl culture. The more irritations the Devil flings at us, the more pearls we may have. We need only to welcome them and cover them completely with love, that most precious part of us, and the irritation will be smothered out as the pearl comes into being. What a store of pearls we may have, if we will!
The apostle Paul called it light afflictions but there’s an exceeding great promise if we go through it, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”(2 Corinthians 4:17ESV). To put it simply, afflictions comes in varying degrees and temperatures. It can also be likened to the four seasons: summer, spring, winter and fall. But the most important truth to remember out of all this comparisons is the fact that they do not last long. It changes and shifts. Thus, we can be assured that even if we do not take notice of its arrival, afflictions will always leave us either better or bitter. When we see them in the light of what the apostle Paul saw them, we will have better perspective and see the blessings out from it.
Although, we can never choose the form of afflictions that will come in our lives, it should not matter. Why? Because we will discover that they can bring the best or the worst of us depending on who and what do you depend on. Here’s the bottom line: If you depend on man, disappointment will surely come your way because they will not know and understand what it is for and what you are going through. However, if you fully depend on God, it becomes a different story. There’s always a purpose in everything that He allows us to go through. Although we may not know it at the time, our faith in His wisdom will surely come in handy. Just never waver and lose your focus on the bigger picture.
Every beautiful thing made goes through a hard process before its beauty is seen. Afflictions therefore are one of those processes that we MUST go through for us to come into view as God desired for us to be. Remember Job? This is what he uttered: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10 ESV). Now we can choose to see the best with every affliction that comes our way. Whenever they come externally or personally, let it be transformed either as pearls or you can come forth as gold. Whichever, let afflictions become favorable to us. Don’t fear them; on the contrary welcome them with open arms if you understand what I’m trying to say.
Therefore, it is imperative to see that though they may come as pain at first, they can always be converted to joy by allowing God to intervene at the initial onset. When He does, this is His promise for us to claim: “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness”(Psalms 30:11 ESV). Keep looking up for God’s help and you will never be disappointed.
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