30th July 2013

Become Like An Oyster! 

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)
 

I heard someone recently declare that he had “the patience of an oyster” and I was intrigued! Have you ever thought about how patient an oyster is? 

As you know, oysters produce the precious objects that we call pearls; but how? Well, a natural pearl begins its life as a foreign object, such as a parasite, a grain of sand or a piece of shell that accidentally lodges itself against the oyster’s soft inner body where it cannot be expelled. To ease this irritation, the oyster begins to secrete a smooth, hard crystalline substance around this invader in order to endure this pain. This substance is called ‘nacre’. As long as this thing to be endured remains within the body, the oyster will continue to patiently secrete nacre around it, layer upon layer, daily, weekly, monthly; and over time, the irritant will be completely encased by these silky, crystalline coatings. And the result, ultimately, is the lovely and lustrous gem called a pearl. How something so wondrous emerges from this patient and continuous process is one of nature’s great surprises. 

But the writer to the Hebrews urges all, Christians, to be patient, “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT). This beautiful quality is often referred to in the Bible as “patient endurance”, as it is in this verse, and also in Paul’s letter to the Colossians in chapter 1:11 (NLT): “We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need.”  “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:3-4 NKJV)

It seems as though the lowly oyster has something to teach us about patience after all, but our reward is not just a beautiful pearl, it’s so much more glorious:  eternal life with the Triune God in his Kingdom! 

Prayer
Gentle Father, as we endure the trials in our lives please help us to yield patiently to your great power and the victory that will give us through your Son Jesus Christ.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

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cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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