Published at WordPress. By Donna Brown, Bowles

The oyster and its pearl.
Pearls are the product of pain. For some unknown reason, the shell of the oyster gets pierced and an alien substance-a grain of sand-slips inside. On the entry of that foreign irritant, all the resources within the tiny, sensitive oyster rush to the spot and begin to release healing fluids that otherwise would have remained dormant. By and by the irritant is covered and the wound is healed and a pearl is born.

No other gem has so fasci-
nating a history. It is the symbol of stress-a healed wound… a precious, tiny jewel conceived through irritation, born of adversity, nursed by adjustments. Had there been no wounding, no irritating or interruption,
there could have been no pearl.

Some oysters are never wounded… and those who seek for gems toss them aside, fit only for stew.

J. B. Phillips must have realized this as he paraphrased James 1:2-4:
When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives, my brothers.
don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!
Realize that they have come to test your endurance. Let the
process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men and women of mature character.