Friday, June 5, 2015

Pearls are More Amazing Than You Thought


Via Pinterest
Pearls are the 'birthstone' for the month of June.

I love wearing pearls, don't you? So shimmery and sleek - classic and chic. (hey, that rhymed) ;) I think they glow like tiny moons. They're unique in the fact that they're the only "gem" that is actually a material created by an animal - a pearl oyster. All the other gems are rocks and minerals. Oh right, except for some rare corals.

I kinda have a thing for jewels. ;)

Treasures of the sea have always fascinated me. I grew up near the beach, you know. When I was a little homeschooled girl, we had a large library of books in our house, and one of them was all about treasure that had been brought up from the ocean - loot from shipwrecks. I don't know how many times I read that book, over and over again. I stared at the pictures of the emerald-encrusted gold cross, the Spanish doubloons, the ruby-studded dagger.

But anyway, where was I? Talking about pearls, that's right.

You've heard about how they're made a thousand times, right? So often that it's become a little tired-out, I would imagine.
Pearls are formed when a tiny irritation enters the oyster, like a grain of sand. (Poor thing. Imagine having something like that in your eye and you can't blink to get it out!) The oyster coats it with layers upon layers of pearly 'nacre' as long as it remains inside the shell. After about five seconds on Google I found an article that details the process a bit more here. To a jewelry-maker that works with pearls often, it's even more interesting.

This part sounds super scientific, but bear with me: "The nacre is not just a soothing substance. It is composed of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate, aligned perfectly with one another, so that light passing along the axis of one crystal is reflected and refracted by another to produce a rainbow of light and color."

I'm sorry, but that's just beautiful. I'm freaking out over here. Pearls are actually tiny worlds composed of millions of rainbow-reflective crystals. How awesome is that?!

I was sitting on my bed, holding my Bible, thinking about pearls, after reading three verses the evening before with my family. (They're in Matthew, chapter 13, if you want to go read 'em yourself in your own preferred translation, but really, KJV, people, it's just so rich)

The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it

Um. Wow. I can't begin to imagine giving up every single thing I own for one pearl, even if it was gorgeous and bigger than my head. But this guy here, he didn't hold back. Not one bit.

These verses are in red letters in my Bible, which means Jesus said the words. He was actually talking to the disciples in this scene, because after he'd come back from preaching to a huge crowd from a boat they started asking him what the heck he meant with all those parables. ;) So Jesus starts to patiently explain to them what they meant.

They he hits them up with this pearl story. I believe the field represents believers, as a whole. Jesus sacrificed everything for those who would accept the price he paid for them on the cross. The pearl of great price?

That's me.

My hands fly to my cheeks and I almost blush, thinking about it. Jesus gave his life for me. He thought of me as he hung there dying for my sins. Sins that, at that point in time, I hadn't even committed yet, because I hadn't even been born, nor had my great-great-great-grandparents.

I can't even begin to fathom it. I'm just grateful that I've accepted his beyond-generous offer.

Have you?

If your heart answers "Yes, I believe it, and I've said it - Jesus is Lord. And he died for me." then - WOOOOOOHOOO! We'll be dining together at the most glorious banquet ever, in heaven, and worshiping the one and only GOD. There's no way I'm not accepting that party invitation! :) In fact, I already have!

When your heart is looking forward to something so incredibly beautiful... it's easier to let the day-to-day irritations become softened and covered in grace. forgiveness. love. mercy.

Like pearls.

I'll never wear pearls again without thinking about the fact that I'm treasured by the creator of this world (and the little pearl-worlds of rainbowy crystals - still can't get over that) more than anything.

And guess what? So are you!

15 comments:

  1. I am so glad you are back Julia! I have been reading your blog for years and always loved it. I was very happy to see your post go up the other day!

    Beautiful ideas here in this post! My older sister, Abigail, was born in June and has always loved pearls. She's told me that she feels just like a speck of dirt which Jesus crusted over and over again with layers of beautiful material until she became and pure white pearl in his eyes! So many allegories that can be applied to this classy gem!

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    1. Hi Kelpie! I'm honored! :) Now I'm really glad I decided to revive Julia's Journal instead of going with a new blog entirely. :)

      How lovely! Your sister sounds like a wonderful girl, and what a beautiful analogy. And so true! :) Thanks for leaving that comment, it really brightened my morning! :)

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    2. I forgot to mention that my sister also liked to think of the pearl as the single girl's jewel because it symbolizes purity. Actually, based on that idea she used to write a blog for young women with "pearl" being part of the name.

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    3. Ah! Now I know who you're talking about! Abigail of Pearls & Diamonds? :) I used to read that blog AGES ago! :) How neat!

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    4. Yes, Abigail from Pearls and Diamonds was my older sister. What a coincidence that you read my sister (and sister-in-law)'s blog and now I read yours! :)

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  2. Hey girl! I've enjoyed reading your last few posts. Loved this one in particular. Haven't thought of those verses in that way before. Many different things have been weighing on my heart recently, and this kind of sums it up. I'll have to start blogging again as well. ;)

    Also want to encourage you on your singleness posts! Stick with it! I think it's an incredible idea. Sometimes, even if what a young woman truly desires is marriage and a family, the Lord may have a completely different plan in mind for her- that may never include marriage. (!) I think it can be easy to miss that fact and, like you said, stay waiting around on a prince charming that may never come. Or at least, not anytime soon. I read something a while back that said (paraphrasing here): "Run with your passions, then you may look to your side and find someone running alongside you." Such a great reminder to get out in the world and do the things you love, really weather or not you meet that one day man.

    And little pearl-worlds of rainbow crystals??? Gaahhh! Love it!
    Allison

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    1. Hey Allison!! So good to hear from you - and what a nice long comment, those are the best. :D DO start blogging again, I'd love to read it!

      Thank you! I was surprised at what a chord it struck to write about singleness - It's always been something I shied away from talking about, but my outlook has totally changed. And I'm loving it. :) I have a post already scheduled that touches more on not being afraid of the single season or letting fear and dread get a foothold - so be sure to come back for that! :)

      I KNOW RIGHT? I was practically squealing when I found that information. So cool. Now I want to go look at a pearl through a microscope!!
      Hugs,
      Julia

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  3. Wow, beautiful! God's creation is SO complex and wonderful. Great analogy, too. There's more to pearls than I thought. :)

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    1. Isn't it?!? I was amazed. :D Thanks!

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  4. Pearls are my favorite, there is a simple elegance about them that is so steadfast and beautiful. It's almost as if a pearl contains a great secret about truth that other gems are too busy being flashy to notice. I loved this post.

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    1. Ooh, I like that, Grace. :D So glad you loved the post!

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  5. Beautiful post Julia! I don't recall ever hearing that interpretation of the passage before. I'll have to dig in the word some more. :)

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    1. Thanks, Paige! Digging in the word is always a good thing, there's so much treasure to uncover. :D

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  6. What a wonderful thought!!! I had never thought of the sanctification process in that way before; God gives us little trials, or "irritations" to mold us into His perfect pearl! I'll never look at pearls in the same way again.

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    1. Hi Katelyn! Well - that wasn't exactly the point of the post, but yes, the trials that God allows to happen in our lives DO make us more beautiful as we learn the lessons that spring from them. :) Like lovely pearls. :)

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