Blue Pearls - Thursday's Dose - 20th September 2012

Thursday's Dose - 20th September 2012

Blue Pearls

"Again the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and brought it." - Matt. 13:45-46 (NIV). 

They were new to me though I have several colors, types and styles of pearls. Recently on a trip to New Zealand we visited Akaroa, a small coastal fishing village on the South Island. While strolling along the waterfront and shops I discovered the blue pearls in a window. I was immediately fascinated. Venturing inside the shop to learn more, I saw the dazzling blue pearls fashioned into beautiful jewelry.

Pearls have been known since before Bible times and greatly prized for their beauty, shapes, and size. Jesus spoke of pearls when he said, "Again the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and brought it." Matt. 13:45-46 ( NIV ) The most magnificent pearls in the world are said to come from the seas off the northern coast of Australia around the South Sea Islands. Their beauty is said to be due to the pollution free waters which offer a unique environment for the rare types of bi-value mollusks or oysters.

Oysters form pearls because a foreign body or irritant get into their shell. The irritant causes them to secrete a mineral substance which contains calcium to surround the irritant and wall it off. The greater the irritant, a larger and thicker pearl is produced. In 1890, Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in cultivating round pearls in oysters and the cultured pearl industry was born. Today we still see the beautiful Mikimoto pearls for sale. About the same time Louis Boutan, a French scientist, produced the first mabe (hemispherical) pearls in abalone, but he abandoned his effort because of the difficulties in raising this particular species of shellfish. In 1989 Roger Beattie, a New Zealander, developed and established the first ocean based blue pearls farm in New Zealand in the species of abalone, the sea creature paua. These hemispherical pearls are formed into many shapes, sizes, and colors with varying luster. The most beautiful of them are used in making expensive jewelry.

Natural or cultured pearls are known for their five virtues: luster, size, shape, color, and complexion. The more beautiful and rare the pearl the greater is the value. Luster is the beauty of light reflected from the surface of the pearl. This bright iridescence light determines value. The best quality reflective pearls have the greatest thickness. The thickness is in part determined by the intensity of the irritant causing the pearl to continue to form to a larger size. Size may vary from 10 to 15 mm but the perfectly round pearls larger than 15 mm are most prized. Shape may vary from perfectly round to tear drop, button, oval and baroque shapes. Color is based on the chemicals or minerals in the water as the pearl forms. The more common shades are white, silver and cream. Rarer color overtones of gold, yellow, pinks, peach, apricot, champagne and black bring premium prices. Complexion is the texture of the exposed `face' of the pearl once it has been set from the prized `exceptional' skins to more blemished surfaces. It is rare to find a pearl free from any exterior blemishes because they are created by changes in its natural environment. However, when a flawless surface pearl is found, it is of very great value.

In today's world with our packed schedules, professional challenges, church and family responsibilities we may feel like an oyster in the ocean of life.
Irritants are daily and plentiful. They may easily get into our shell. These
irritants may be worse than sand in the eye, thorns in the side, or a pebble in
your shoe. Deadlines continually haunt us. We all have professional colleagues who make work challenging. People with personality disorders often seem to find us. Dysfunction seems to be the order of the day.

So how do you deal with it? Do you surround these irritants with prayer or recall Scripture to help wall them off? Remember that the greater the irritant, the thicker and more beautiful the pearl becomes if it is coated appropriately.

Patience and grace develop over time with the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Grace is the reflection of the light of Christ in us. Are you becoming a pearl of great value no matter your shape or color? Don't be like that small worthless dull pearl we sometimes find in our oyster stew! Pearls begin small and grow. The pearls of great price do not form quickly.

Do you know any pearls no matter their shape or color? They may have a few blemishes but the luster and reflection of the light of Christ is clearly seen. The world is looking for pearls of great value. May you be that pearl in the sea of life where God has placed you.

"Our Loving Heavenly Father,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All his wonderful passion and purity,
Oh, thou spirit divine, All my nature refine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Thursday and God Bless you.
Courtesy : Daily Dose Devotionals Team