Let’s think about that... Something painful is transformed into something beautiful, valuable, and admirable. Since we all have pain, I believe this is an invitation into a deeper intimacy with Jesus. We all have our share of irritants in life – financial pain, broken relationships, wounds, pressures, sickness, injury, addictions, temptations – you get the idea. We respond to these irritants in a number of ways. Sometimes we try to escape them. We may try to live in denial of their existence. We may look for relief from their discomfort in something that is temporary but destructive. I believe we have an opportunity in Christ to respond differently to the irritations life brings us. Because Christ lives in our hearts, we can wrap these irritations in praise and thanksgiving to Jesus. We can encase our cares in trust towards Jesus. When we invite the King, we invite His KINGDOM! When we are aware of how valuable His Kingdom is, we will forsake all other “valuables” to see the infinite and measureless value of the Kingdom of God expanding in our hearts.
I love the passage in Luke 17:20b-21 where Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” God wants to establish His Kingdom through us, and it starts by recognizing that it is already within us through Jesus! When we realize the value of His Kingdom, and the potential for that Kingdom to expand in our hearts and minds, we will start reprioritizing how we spend our time, our energy, and our attention. We will “sell everything we have” to make room. We will “buy” the priceless pearl of the King and His Kingdom by spending time, energy, and attention to know Him more. More of His Kingdom in us means more of His Kingdom through us. Jesus is the one that brings true value. Then the world will see what true value looks like, as the pearls of His Kingdom adorn our lives for all to see.