The Pearl

    People had walked over the desolate field hundreds of times, kicking up a cloud of dust as they traveled. When the rains came, the field turned to mud, coating their feet with a thick layer of clay and dirt, and making each miserable step more difficult. The weary travelers longed to wash their feet in a stream, cleansing them of the muck, and the parasites and germs that it contained. Certainly, nothing of value could be found in the mire.

    One day a merchant came upon the field. But, instead of quickly walking over it, he stopped. Sensing that what he had been searching for was close at hand, he carefully looked across the wasteland. Suddenly, he saw a glint, a momentary gleam, as something reflected the sun's rays.

    "I have found it!" he exclaimed joyously, as he raced to claim the sparkling treasure.

    He fell to his knees and began to dig with his hands. The smell of animal droppings filled the air, but he did not notice. As the mud covered his hands and accumulated under his fingernails, he could think of only one thing. I have found what I have been searching for at last! Nothing will keep me from claiming it as my own.

    He held the grimy pearl up in the sunlight. Then, using his own clothing, he gently wiped away the dirt. He carefully placed the pearl inside his coat for safekeeping. I must find the owner of this field and buy it from him.

    The field's owner drove a very hard bargain. If this man wants to buy the field, he must have some use for it; therefore, I will get as much money from him as I can.

    Finally, an agreement was reached. The merchant traded everything he had to buy the desolate field. Now the pearl was legally his. Sacrificing all I owned for this pearl was definitely worth it!

    In God's eyes, every person is a priceless pearl.

Born into sin, and held captive by it, every individual lives in an unforgiving world that values pleasure and possessions more than a human being. The person mired in sin is left to find a way to lift himself out of the mud. However, he soon discovers that the harder he tries to climb out, the more deeply he sinks down in the mud. Clearly, he is powerless to help himself. 

    God the Father did not think it too great a sacrifice to exchange His Son's life to save a single human being. Ignoring the stench of sin, Jesus willingly came to seek and to rescue the hopelessly lost. He knew that He would have to surrender His own life in a torturous death. But He considered every person to be worth the price.

    The pearl had no will of its own that it could refuse to be reclaimed from the mud. We, of course, have an independent will. We can choose to accept Christ's sacrifice and allow Him to free us from our sins, or we can insist on remaining mired in our mistakes, failures, and addictions.

    He has already paid for your salvation. Ask Him to forgive you, and then submit to His plan for your life. After all, He has shown unmistakably that He is the only one who truly values you.

© by Nancy A. Stevens