Recently, I have developed a habit of waking up early. It has changed my life. Really. Being able to fit exercise, prayer and reading into my day has made me happier than I have ever been. The only problem is trying to be quiet so I don’t wake up the rest of the house. Which would be counter-productive:( I started downloading pastor Joel Osteen’s podcasts and listening to them first thing in the morning on my ipod. He is so amazingly positive that it is the perfect way to start my day! I am taking notes and letting his sermons guide my Bible study for the week. This week he spoke about “developing your pearls.” In short, he said that oysters form pearls from a piece of sand…an irritant. He went on to explain that irritants in your life are allowed by God to form character or pearls. He said that if there is something that you are praying about and it does not change, God has put it there for your benefit. Suffering forms spiritual “pearls” or character. Pastor Osteen said, “It is not where you are but what you are that matters.” It is what defines you as a Christian. Sometimes you hear something from God that you know is just said for you. He quoted a passage by the apostle Paul on suffering. After the podcast ended, I wished he would have given the chapter and verse. I was looking over my notes and decided to open my Bible. If anyone has ever done Lectio Divina you know it can be powerful. I still have my drivers licence that I got 16 years ago when I got married. Tosha Michell Schiffli. I was so proud of my new name I ran right out to get my new licence. I keep it out and look at it to remind myself of the blessing of my marriage. I let Landon play with it the night before and he had placed it in my Bible. So I naturally opened it up to that place.
Landon God had marked the place of Paul’s quote that was in the sermon that morning! It was Romans 8:18-19.
I consider that the sufferings of the present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be reveled for us.”
I looked at my licence and at my smiling naive face. I thought about how different things turned out than I had planned. I thought about God’s plan and all of the trials of our 16 year relationship. I thanked God for all of them and how grateful I was that I was not that girl anymore. Thank you Jesus…for all of my pearls.