The story of the pearl and oyster is one that has very significant meaning for all people. Pearls are developed, not mined from the earth. They do not need any shining or special cuts in order for their beauty to emerge. These gems are formed inside oysters in the depths of the sea.
A pearl begins as a foreign object irritant. Just like in the human body, defensive action is taken to conteract the intrusion. The oyster secretes a substance which is very smooth but hard like crystal. This secretion continues layer upon layer as long as the intruding irritant remains. The coating of this substance called nacre forms like a miracle in itself. Microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate align in such a way that light passes along the axis of one crystal and refracts by another, giving off a rainbow of light and color. The end result is a beautiful gem called a pearl.
Isn't this what God desires to do with our irritants of life? They can mold us and make us into a person that will bring glory to Him. I Peter 1:6-7 sums it up this way: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." These trials may at times be wrought in the depth of the ocean of despair and depression.
There is one catch though. You and I must cooperate with God and allow Him to use the irritating "foreign objects" of life to develop us into the pearl. We can cause the irritant to remain by holding on to things like lack of forgiveness and bitterness. When things get difficult God wants to layer us with the spiritual nacre of his grace. He can make us into the spiritual gem he designed us to be.