Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Have you ever heard how a pearl is formed? It is truly fascinating. A foreign object, often a grain of sand, somehow makes its way into the tightly sealed crack of an oyster. Instead of spitting out this irritating object, the oyster covers it with layer upon layer of a substance secreted from its own body. After months or even years, a beautiful pearl is formed. The longer the pearl stays in the oyster, the more valuable it becomes.
What a picture of God's mercy toward us! The Lord doesn't spit us out when we come to Him! "We are accepted in the beloved!" God has every right to cast us out because of our sin but instead, He brings us into His body and covers over our sin with His beautiful covering!
When God found us we were nothing more than an irritation but by His grace, He keeps us under His covering, so that we can be made into something valuable to His Kingdom! God is using our time now under His covering to conform us into His image!
Let's cherish this time under God's covering and take this opportunity to grow more and more beautiful -- that we attract many for His Kingdom in these trying times!