An unusual wandering in the “muse-land” took me to Chinatown. I walked along the street lined with jewelry shops and an array of beautiful necklaces displayed on the window of one of them drew my attention.
Through the window, I saw an old man sitting in front of a table laden with many bowls; his eyes beckoned me to come in. Unable to resist if I wished, I went in, with a swift sweep of his hands he directed me to sit across him. I did.
He picked a measured length of silk thread and threaded it through a needle, in a deliberate long pause, his eyes swept over the array of pearls in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors in individual bowls on the tray in front of him, dazzling in their rich and vibrant luster.
He stretched his callous hands to the farthest bowl on the tray with tiny round pearls looking like caviar, picked one of them, passed the needle through it and several others, with a knot after each one, gradually increasing the sizes until the midpoint.
Then he picked a shimmering drop-shaped pearl with the colors of a peacock, lifted it up to the rays of sun streaming into the room and turned it around on the tips of his gaunt fingers—it sparkled in sunlight.
“Precious,” he declared.
He strung it and continued with the round ones decreasing the sizes. It was a beautiful well-matched symmetric strand. I thought he would fix the clasp and finish it but he laid it down on another tray, picked up another strand of measured silk thread, and began the same process, this time the pearls were irregular in shape and size.
I imagined so, since each pearl will bear the unique “signature” of the mother oyster that produced it.
Again at the midpoint he placed another shimmering peacock-colored pearl larger than the first one and finished up the strand as before. He laid the second strand below the first.
I was intrigued but I glanced at my watch and shifted in the chair: “Where is he going with this?”
He must have read my mind, he smiled and said, “Wait, be patient.”
He picked the third strand of silk thread and this time after the first few small round pearls, the sizes increased dramatically until about the midpoint and he placed smaller shimmering round pearls here and continued symmetrically to the end. He placed the third strand on the tray below the second.
Then he pulled one side of the three strands together, knotted them and worked the threads through one end of a gold clasp. He did the same for the other end. As he pulled them together an exquisite picture emerged, the midpoint pearls fitted on top of each other shimmering with the colors of a peacock. The irregular shaped dark green center was sandwiched between a thin rounded glittering black top strand and a thicker bottom strand in the same color. It was a perfect fit.
Admiring what he created, he said, “Each piece, part of the story. Without one, necklace not same.”
I agreed with him. The product of the painstaking process was indeed beautiful. Each pearl, irrespective of the size or shape, had to be in a defined location for the strung pearls to come together in a perfect fit. Each strand could have stood alone but together they formed a beautifully created elegant necklace.
It is reassuring to know we are precious, unique, and beautiful in the sight of God—fearfully and wonderfully created by Him, Who meticulously string together every divinely designed event in our lives, and fit them together for our good and to fulfill His ultimate purpose for us.
The pit, Potiphar’s house and the prison—all fitted together to prepare the perfect path to the palace for Joseph. Each experience was a unique event, which took Joseph closer to the fulfillment of his dreams. It was from the pit he was sold to the Medianites who brought him into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, a Pharaoh’s officer. It was from Potiphar’s house he was sent to the prison. The prison brought him in contact with the Pharaoh’s Chief Butler who at the appointed time provoked a recommendation on his behalf.
Every event in our lives is allowed for a purpose and has a part to fulfill in the ultimate story. I got impatient because I did not know the design the old man had in mind for the pearls.
We also we get impatient and fidgety during the hard and difficult times when we seem to have more questions than answers. But this is the time to wait patiently with expectation trusting God Who knows the end from the beginning to work it all together for our good.
Do you know you are so precious to God and He has a good plan for you?
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jer. 29:11