The Fruit of Suffering
Monday, April 15 2019
As Holy Week is upon us, I am thinking about Isaiah 53: the Bible passage that speaks of Jesus Christ as “The Suffering Servant” – a Bible passage that was prophesied and written down 700 years before the Son of God came to earth and lived and suffered and died and rose again victoriously.
And I remember something I had read about “pearls” awhile back.
And my mind and heart make a connection…
Miguelon de Sevilla
“How beautiful pearls are!
But even so, we must remember that they are the product of pain. Every pearl is the result of an oyster that has been wounded by a grain of sand that has made its way inside the oyster shell. An oyster that has not been wounded cannot produce pearls.
In the inside of the oyster shell there is a substance called “nacre” or “mother of pearl”, and when a grain of sand penetrates an oyster, the oyster begins to cover the grain of sand with layers and more layers of mother of pearl to protect itself. As a result, a beautiful and brilliant pearl is formed.
Have you been hurt by someone’s words or attitudes?
Have you been accused of saying something that you never said?
Have your ideas been ridiculed or rejected?
Have you been blamed for doing something that you never did?
Has your attitude regarding certain situations been misinterpreted?
Have you ever suffered from the wounds of indifference?
Have you been hurt by precisely the people you least expected to hurt you?
Are you not valued as you truly deserve to be?
If so, forgive and turn your wound into a pearl. Cover each one with layer after layer of love, because the more covered your wound is, the less pain you will feel. On the other hand, if you don’t cover your wounds with love, they will remain open, they will hurt more and more everyday, they will get infected with resentment and bitterness, and worst of all, they will never heal.
In our society, we can see many “empty oyster shells”, not because they haven’t been wounded – but because they did not know how to forgive, understand and transform their pain into a pearl.
A pearl is … a wound healed by love.”
This story reminded me of what the prophet Isaiah said about Jesus Christ more than 700 years before His birth, His life and His death. Jesus was “despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain … punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted … Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the fruit of his suffering and will be satisfied…” (53:3,4,7,10,11) First the wounds, first the crushing, first the pain – and then “the fruit of his suffering”: an offspring of many who are saved through his expiatory death, eternal life for all those who believe in Him, and the will of His Father prospered in Him.
Just like an oyster that, having “suffered”, sees a beautiful pearl inside, the “fruit” of its “suffering”, and is “satisfied”.
So today, let’s remember and thank God for “Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) First He endured the pain and the shame of the cross – then He was given His place of honor at the right hand of the throne of God. First came the “suffering” – then came the “fruit”. First His suffering – then we, the fruit.
And today, may you and I as well – when “grains of sand” make their way into our hearts, and hurt us and crush us and cause us pain – permit the forgiveness and the love of God to cover our wounds, heal them, and make of each and every one of them a beautiful pearl. Then, we too will be able to see “the fruit of our suffering” – a complete and lovely pearl necklace – and be “satisfied”.
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