When seemingly needless suffering invades our lives, we often ask ourselves, “Who needs all this grief?” But consider for a moment the origin of pearls.

Each pearl is formed by an oyster’s internal response to a wound caused by an irritant, such as a grain of sand. The oyster’s internal defenses rush to repair and protect the injured area. It begins coating the irritant with layer upon layer of mucus. The final result is a lustrous pearl. Something beautiful is created that would have been impossible without the wound.

In the book of Genesis we see Joseph in a position of influence. God put him in an exalted position to feed the Egyptians, surrounding nations, and especially Joseph’s family during the famine. But how did he become influential? It began with a wound. He was sold into slavery by his brothers.

If the wound caused by his brothers was not bad enough, the wound of Potiphar’s wife’s false accusation, and the years endured in prison added to his irritation, pain and suffering. But Joseph continually drew upon his faith in God and upon God’s strength in these times of suffering and trials. As a result Joseph became better not bitter. He said in Genesis 41:52, “God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

Author Paul E. Billheimer wrote this about Joseph, “If human pity could have rescued him from the sad part of his life, the glorious part that followed would have been lost.”

If you are suffering right now, consider the oyster – no wounds, no pearls! God has the power, the desire, the resources to take your wounds and if you’ll allow Him, He can make transform your wounds of suffering into something wonderful. If you allow yourself to become better not bitter, you may one day be a beautiful blessing to someone.

I leave you with this verse to encourage you in your suffering now or in the future. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Remember – Adversities are often blessings in waiting! — Tom