Finding Our Pearl | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2014

Finding Our Pearl

By: Holli Long

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. - Matthew 13: 45-46

My husband and I always knew we wanted to have children. However, we didn’t always know how challenging a task this would be for us. Like other couples and individuals facing infertility, we soon learned how the road to parenthood isn’t always easy or short. We also learned about the lengths we were willing to go in order to try to make our dreams of hearing coos and cries and the pitter pattering of little feet a reality.

In short, we were willing to go, and we went, to what many would consider some extremes.

Priorities changed. Vacations were put on hold. Savings were drained. Visits to yoga class and the nutritionist’s office replaced trips to the mall and pedicures. Doctor visits became a part of our normal routine.

But we had a vision of this pearl of great value – of having children - and we were willing to do whatever we could do to make it our own.

The dream of starting a family is just one example of what we might consider a pearl of great value. There are many instances which might force us to re-examine our priorities – many glimpses of that one pearl of great value. Maybe a certain diagnosis forces us to hone in on our health and mental well-being. Maybe it’s the desire to finish that degree which is pushing other “needs” to the back burner in favor of the tuition bills. Or, maybe it’s the dream of purchasing a first home that has been the motivation for that savings plan.

We all have pearls of great value in our lives that force us to figuratively sell all we have – to realign our priorities – in order to obtain a thing or a goal or a dream. And for those of us who have had the fortune to obtain such a pearl, we have been perhaps given a gift even above and beyond the pearl itself.

We’ve been given the gift of finding joy in selling all we have, and we’ve perhaps received a glimpse at the greater meaning in this parable.

Because whether we’ve obtained such a pearl or whether we’re in the pursuit of one, we all have these concrete reminders in our lives about the Kingdom of Heaven. We all have these individual dreams for which we would give all.

In the parable, however, the pearl of great value is offered as a symbol for the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Kingdom of Heaven which will be the thing for which we would give all. It is the Kingdom of Heaven which is the dream for which God gave all.

How might we use what we know of searching for our individual pearls of great value to search for the collective pearl that is the Kingdom of Heaven? How are we doing as individuals and as a society at selling all we have to buy this great pearl?

Discussion Questions: What has been a pearl of great value in your life? In what ways can we each work toward the pearl that is the Kingdom of Heaven?

See more devotions from Holli and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.