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 bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)
It’s one of my favorite shows. When I’m at home all day writing, I take a break at lunch to eat and watch Stacy and Clinton transform average women into beautiful. It’s almost a Cinderella story minus the prince. Who doesn’t like that? I love it because I see women not only transformed on the outside but on the inside as well.
But yesterday, the show was about the top 10 melt downs–the top 10 women who almost didn’t make it through the process. These women were given a huge budget to buy new clothes with the assistance of very talented and intelligent people who constantly told them they were beautiful and tried to help them dress to their strengths. Then they had the opportunity to go to a gifted hair-dresser and make-up artist to finish their transformation. But some of them could not or would not accept such a gift. As tears fell down their faces, their wounds were so deep, insecurities so strong, they could not be freed to take this opportunity for change.
I couldn’t help but think of how many of us do the same thing with Jesus. (I hope you can follow me through my analogy–I know a credit card, new clothes, and a hair cut do not compare to the transformation Jesus offers, but roll with me here for a minute please.) How many of us believe in Him…we’ve accepted Him (accepted the credit card to go shopping), go to church every Sunday, even read our Bibles (fly to New York to meet with Stacy and Clinton and throw away our old clothes.) But we never really truly accept the truth that we are beautiful to Him. We refuse to trust that He has vision for us beyond what we can see. So we refuse the haircut. We refuse to take the risk. We go back to our old clothes and our old way of thinking. We continue the church walk but we never put on the clothes Jesus offers. We never fully embrace His gift.
Believing and trusting that you are beautiful in the eyes of Christ changes your life. It changes our countenance from one of nothing to give to one of everything to give. You are worth everything to Him. If you struggle with this, pray for Him to help you see how He sees you.
My son, Drew, went to church with one of his friends last week. Three people were baptized, and they shared their testimonies. One woman’s story really touched my son. He told me she had had a crazy life. A very broken life. She had searched for love in all the wrong places and ended up in a cult. But somehow she escaped from that place of darkness and found a church that preached freedom in Jesus. At the end of her testimony she shared the parable of the merchant who bought the precious pearl. She explained that she had always considered Jesus the pearl and her the merchant, but now she knows she had the meaning of the parable turned around.
Jesus is the merchant who sold everything He had for her, and she is the beautiful pearl.
Oh my friends, you are that most beautiful and exquisite and valuable pearl. Just think of how a pearl is made. It’s made from a wound. Perhaps the bigger the wound the more beautiful and priceless the pearl.
I pray you receive the heart knowledge that you are wanted. Jesus loves you. Pretty clothes, make-up and a great haircut are temporary fixes, but the beauty transformation our God offers us through Jesus changes us forever. He makes us shiny. Accept His gift of love.
Jesus read this in the synagogue: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61).
That’s what He does.