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Messes and Miracles - Girlfriends in God - November 2, 2021

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November 2, 2021
Messes and Miracles
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the LORD, your God (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Life can be so irritating. It’s usually the little things that annoy me the most. The lost set of keys or misplaced cell phone. The ice-maker that quits working before a party … the little things.

But there are times when people are the problem, showing up unexpectedly or calling when I’m running late. Been there?

I’m convinced God uses these tiny irritations as "heavenly sandpaper" to rub off our rough edges.

I was invited to speak for a women's conference based on the theme, "Pearls of Wisdom." When I arrived, every woman was wearing pearl necklaces, bracelets, or pins. Treasure chests overflowing with pearls decorated each table.

Everyone was excited and ready to go - except for one problem. I didn’t have any pearls. But this creative group of ladies was not easily deterred. Before I knew it, I was wearing a stunning pearl necklace - and the pearls were the real deal. Before I could utter one word of protest, the owner of the necklace said, "Don't worry! Just give it back to me at the end of the conference."

It was a blistering summer day, and the air conditioning was having trouble keeping up with the size of the crowd. By the time I finished speaking, I was "glowing."

I forgot all about the pearl necklace until its owner quietly slipped up beside me and said, "I have to leave and need to grab my necklace." I apologized for perspiring all over her beautiful pearls. She laughed, "Actually, it’s good for them. Human perspiration helps the pearls keep their luster."

I am constantly amazed by the profound truths God has tucked into simple things. Isaiah 45:3 is one of those simple truths that has changed my life and my perspective of trials.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the LORD, your God” (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

This verse indicates that God has gone before us and, in every dark moment or painful circumstance, has buried a treasure or stored a secret. The only way we can find the treasure or learn the secret is to pass through that darkness. Some things cannot be learned in the light.

Pearls are formed when a piece of grit, sand or shell is trapped inside an oyster. The oyster protects itself from irritation by secreting a nacreous liquid that surrounds the irritant until it eventually becomes a pearl. In other words, that once annoying irritant eventually becomes a valuable treasure.

Don’t miss this truth!

The greatest treasures in my life are products of the darkest times of my life – even when those dark times are a result of my wrong choices.

God takes even our mistakes, bringing good out of them. Paul said it well in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (HCSB). If we let Him, God will use the results of our mistakes as the foundation for a new life. I am living proof of that truth.

A battle with clinical depression stripped away years of fear and doubt, leaving me with a new identity in Christ.

The inability to have biological children made it possible to adopt our son and daughter, giving my husband and me a priceless treasure.

Over the years, weaknesses have given way to strengths and failures have led to successes.

God has used it all for His glory and my good.

In God's economy, a mess is the perfect setting for a miracle. A sliver of hope and a seed of victory are buried at the center of every problem. God has gone before you. He has already been where He is asking you to go and made a way.

God has buried a treasure in every problem. To find the treasure, we must go through the trial. So, when the tough times come, just look for the pearls.

Let's Pray
Father, I am so sorry for the way I complain about my circumstances. I want to see Your hand in every part of every day - good or bad. Help me learn how to face storms with confidence, knowing You really are in control. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn
What should our first response be to trials?

What does the testing of our faith produce in us? (James 1:3)

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