Week 17

The Oyster’s Secret

Have you ever been irritated? Irritants are stuff that get in the way of your

plans, seem un-cool or bug you. Some days, something that someone

said to you can make you mad or sad, and then, the very next day, that

kid’s same old words can roll off you like rain off a duck’s back.

Let’s take a look at the oyster living in the deep blue sea. If you could

hang out with it for a few months, you might learn how to handle irritating

people and things. It has a cool way of dealing with what gets under

its skin, or in its case, under its shell.

Oysters are mollusks, which are a part of a bigger group of animals

that have no backbones. Oysters are crustaceans that live inside their

shell, carrying their skeleton on the outside of their bodies1. The oyster

opens and shuts its shell as it collects food. Often times, a piece of food

or gravel will get stuck inside the mantel or the tender part of the oyster.

This stuck piece of gravel is the beginnings of an awesome pearl2. All

oysters are not pearl oysters; the Pteriidae family of oysters create true

pearls. 3

A pearl begins as something not wanted or an irritant imprisoned

inside the pearl oyster’s shell. When the oyster discovers gravel has

become stuck inside itself, it begins to make a substance called nacre.

This is a combo of calcium and protein. Nacre wraps itself or coats the

piece of stuck stuff. It acts like a soothing substance to the oyster. Day

after day, for months and sometimes years, this nacre continues to coat

over the gravel or irritant4. If you could ask the oyster to open up its shell,

you would see the awesome, shiny, and soft glow of a pearl. The pearl is

already shiny—no need for polishing.

What about You?

Remember you were going to hang out with the oyster? What did

you learn? With the passing of time and with God in your life, the hurts

can shine so beautifully. It is true. Just remember the oyster’s story—that

piece of stuck food or grit which seemed it would be a painful problem

became the oyster’s treasured purpose.

When you invite Jesus Christ to live inside your heart He is like the

nacre. His love is the coating over those ugly words someone said, that

rejection from your mom or dad, or that pestering sister who gets on your

nerves. Jesus allows those tough irritants in your life because He wants

you to see His good come out of them. In His time, God will work those

irritants for your good as well, if you are patient. Ask the Lord in faith

to do His “nacre coating” over your irritants. He will give you the grace

and patience to trust Him. He is just waiting for a chance to turn that

irritant into a pearl for you! Find today’s scripture verses in your Bible

and underline them.


You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good…

(21) No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you.

Genesis 50: 20a, 21a NLT

Day 2: Check It Out

There is still another living thing that makes its home with oysters.

In fact, this animal hangs out with many types of crustaceans. With

your parents’ permission, visit the library or go online to discover more

about the pea crab. How big is a pea crab? Does it hang on the oyster it’s

lifetime? What is its connection to the oyster? What did you find out?

Day 3: Check Within

When the sand gets stuck in the oyster it does something most of us

do not do. Instead of getting mad or quitting, the oyster makes a beautiful

thing from an un-cool irritation. Read Philippians 4:4–8. What does

this scripture say you should do with an upset attitude? What might you

do to keep this upbeat attitude when life gets tough?

Day 4: Check Around

Nacre is pretty cool. How? It soothes all the painful irritation that

would otherwise bother such tender parts of the oyster. Coat after coat

of nacre covers the grainy and hard irritant. Read John 13: 34–35 and 1

Peter 4:8. Like the nacre covers the gravel, what does scripture say to do

with people that rub you the wrong way?

Day 5: Check with the Lord

Pray this prayer:

Dear God, when my days are busy, and I forget to pray, I know You

are with me helping me through that busy day! Thank You for reminding

me that, like the pearl in the oyster, I am in the center of Your love. There

are kids who irritate me, which makes me have a bad attitude. God, I

am sorry because I do not want to walk around with a sad face. I want

to bring my attitude to You. God, please give me patience so I can love

others even though I do not see things like they see things. Help me to

be a friend always. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

Write your own short prayer thanking God that He knows

your heart. Ask Him to take away anything that bothers

you, like a wrong attitude, and replace it with a godly one.