Thursday 1 October 2009

This is an item I put in the local Pioneer magazine recently - I hope you like it!

A Pearl of Great Price?

In my pocket I carry with me a large white marble. From time to time I take it out and hold it for a moment, or feel its smooth roundness in my pocket. I do it to remind me of certain important things. I do it especially when I'm feeling lonely or misunderstood, or when things aren't going my way. In short, when I'm tempted to feel a bit unloved and a bit down.

The marble reminds me of a story Jesus told - the story of the pearl of great price. There was a merchant, He said, who was a dealer in fine pearls. One day he found one of such exceptional beauty and lustre that he sold all that he had to buy it. On the face of it, Jesus was saying that we ought to value God's presence and love so much that everything else fades by comparison. It's a great message for these cynical times when we seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing. It's our fixation with greedy materialism that landed us in recession.

But we can also turn the story round. What if it is not about us searching for God, but God searching for us? Is He the merchant hunting for pearls? If so, it means He gave everything, His best and finest, in order to have us. This is just what the life of Jesus tells us. He came among us so He could lay down His life for us on the cross. He gave everything to have us. We are His pearl of great price.

So that's what my little marble reminds me of. I'm not lonely or unwanted or insignificant or worthless - even when my circumstances or emotions say I am. I am God's pearl, for love of whom He gave everything. Wow.

Sadly I haven't got a real pearl of great price for my reminder - can't afford it! And it's just as well really, because that reminds me I don't have to be anything special for God to love me. Ordinary people, with all their up and downs, are precious to God. So much so that He gave Jesus for them.

Have you found your pearl yet?

with love in Jesus from Colin.