PAINS AND PEARLS; How to Embrace Pain for Glory

Pearls are one of the most precious things in the world. We use pearls for different things; jewellery and adornment of clothes and fabrics. These precious bits of items are made by Oysters.

When foreign materials or irritants like parasites and sands enter the shells of Oysters, it is deemed as a threat to its system. Just like your body reacting to unwanted substances, the Oyster goes through pains, and as a defence mechanism, it secrets layers of aragonite and conchiolin to form layers around the irritant to create a hard shell that makes sure the irritant is unable to affect the Oyster’s health. That’s how pearls are formed – from the pains of Oysters.

Pearl formed in an Oyster’s shell

Our Oysters are Pains

We, as humans also have to endure so many pains; the pain of childbirth, the pain of grief, the pain of disappointments and offences. There are also pains of hardships that we must endure. Hardships may come in many forms for us, so I’d qualify hardship as any unpleasant situation(s) you may find yourself in.

The hardships are there for a reason. Joseph in the Bible had to endure so much hardship. From being sold to strangers, to being a servant, to being a prisoner. He went through all these and never relented or lost hope. He ended up being a very important person in the land where he endured so much pain.

There is something about God and how He blesses people through hardships. I use to not understand why He’d do that but I think I do understand a little now. Romans 8:28 says “…that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".

All things include the unpleasant, difficult and unwanted situations we sometimes find ourselves in. We humans, as hedonic beings, try to maximize pleasure and avoid pain, but just like the Oyster, God uses those pains to squeeze out good virtues and desired results. Every pain God puts you through has a purpose, and that purpose is what you’ll be glad for.

The ‘ano wan stress’ Cliché (to avoid Pain)

This Pidgin English phrase means ‘I don’t want (any) stress’. Many people say this phrase to mean anything that may seek to disturb their comfort zone. The reason why we should not be glorifying this cliché is because it isn’t godly.

There are times in our lives when we must ‘stress’ about/on some things to achieve desired results. For example, you must go through some stress/pain of studying or training to become the professional that you desired.  There are also times when God ‘stresses’ us to achieve His desired results in us. For example, He may allow into your life some hardships that could form good character, virtues and resilience towards a bigger life He is preparing you for.

So in both ways, the pain of stress will bring desired pearls.

Baptism of Suffering is Pain

If you are Christian, remember that you may suffer for what you believe in. This is a very simple statement. It only means that you have to stay true to your beliefs and values when you are confronted with a situation where you could easily compromise. Jesus had to stress over his purpose. He said, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished" Luke 12:50. That means you can suffer and be stressed for your beliefs. That is why we, as Christians can go through some hardships while others have their ungodly ways around it. It does not mean your beliefs are wrong. It only means that you’ll continue to stress over things in life. You just need to choose the things that are worth stressing about.

Learn to embrace pain (hardships, stresses, or suffering) and work towards changing the narrative the right way, rather than avoiding it. If the Oyster avoided the distress, we wouldn’t be enjoying pearls now. This makes me know that in the end, you’d be glad you endured as the Bible says, “…after that you have suffered a while, [God will] make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" – 1 Peter 5:10. So my advice is, don’t avoid the stress/pain/displeasure, endure it, enjoy it, and work to change the narrative. That is what the Oyster did.

If you don’t endure, your pearls may never be formed.

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