With all of the recent tragedies that have affected my friends and family in the past several weeks I canâ€™t help but wonder what message God is trying to give each of us. Personally, it seems like He is trying to get our attention, to get us to depend on Him for our daily needs, and to get us to realize what is really â€œvaluableâ€ in our lives. I also think He is giving us the opportunity to serve one another by letting us help each other in all ways possible: prayer, food, cleanup hands, a listening ear, comfort, or simply a hug.
As I have listened to those affected by both tragedies and storms, some in multiple ways in their lives â€“ through the death or illness of a close family member (or members) and then blasted by the natural disaster of the storms we have so recently seen â€“Â I have heard the pattern of the talk shift from â€œthis is so terribleâ€ to â€œit could have been much worse.â€
There is a consistent â€œthemeâ€ that all of the THINGS lost were not as important as what was saved â€” life and our faith in God.
â€œJesus said to his disciples: â€œThe kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Â Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys itâ€Â (Mt 13:44-46).
Faith in God, husbands, wives, children, family and friends, wisdom and understanding â€” these are the pearls in our lives. Most of us would give up all of the â€œstuffâ€ we have in our lives so that we could keep loved ones with us forever. And most of us would pay any amount of money to keep our loved ones from harm or hurt.
Unfortunately for some who recently lost loved ones, it wasnâ€™t until they were lost that those who loved them realized just how important they were in their lives.Â But even in these tragedies, I have heard mentioned more than once the comfort the family received because of the knowledge that they are/were not alone, that not only was their family member loved, but so are they loved.
How many times do we miss the â€œpearlâ€ inside our life? How many times are the â€œpearlsâ€ in our lives overlooked because they are buried under an ocean of stuff? How many times are the â€œpearlsâ€ lost because they are washed away by the current of the culture? How many times do we reject a â€œpearlâ€ because it does not look perfect? And how many new â€œpearlsâ€ are found, because another one was lost?
Look for the pearls in your own lives this week.
Almighty Father: Blessed be Your name. You turn grains of sand into pearls. Help me to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to the â€œpearlsâ€ in my life that were sent here by You. Thank you for giving me the wisdom and understanding to know that the lives of those I meet are the real pearls in my life. Help me never to reject or overlook the â€œpearlsâ€ You give me which will enrich my faith and my life. Â And give me the patience to wait for the grain of sands in my life to become the pearls you intend them to be.Â Amen.
Â© 2011 Charlotte Upah,Â Monday Morning Reflection