God is so amazing...
Literally, right as I was sitting down to pen this, I got a text from a spiritual little sister that she and her husband had just gotten back from a trip. While they were there, they went digging for clams and one of them had a pearl in it and she/they wanted to give it to me.
Me: "How did that even come to your mind?"
Her (after a pause): "Umm...because you told me about you and them."
Me: "Awh! Thanks for remembering!"
Yet you know what? I get that it was probably the Holy Spirit more than anything else that was in action!
Yep. I do dig pearls.
My birthstone is a pearl, for one.
I have always like Matthew 7:6's warning about not casting pearls before swine, for two.
I also like what pearls symbolize: Purity, Spiritual Transformation, Charity, Honesty, Wisdom and Integrity. There are also authors who say that pearls are a symbol for Christ Himself.
However, it's *the timing* (Acts 1:7-Message) of her text that is truly extraordinary because, as I've shared before, one of my favorite parables is also about a pearl:
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."---Matthew 13:45-46(NKJV)
One of the things I've asked God for concerning my future husband is that he'll be an awesome *spiritual appraiser*. And yes, this means that he'll need to have spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14, Matthew 19:11-12-Message) and impeccable spiritual discernment (I Corinthians 2:14). 'Cause you see, one of the main things that I like so much about the Parable of the Pearl is the fact that it speaks to a merchant, *a man*, who was among lots of pearls...and yet, *he settled on just one*.
HE. CHOSE. ONE.
That's why, when the Latin phrase "E Pluris Unum" popped up as the Word of the Day on Dictionary several days ago, I jotted it down and told myself that it needed to be an "On Fire" post. Aside from the fact that the phrase is super on-point, it goes right in line with something that the Lord said to me fairly recently:
"Shellie, don't trust your choice. *Surrender it*."
Yesterday, I was talking to someone and I was like "When, *oh when*, are we going to get back to the Garden of Eden when it comes to how we decide to live out our lives?" (Joel 2:3) For instance, personally, I really like the fact that Jeremiah 17:7-8(Message) says this:
"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers---Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season."
And you know what? In the Garden, Adam didn't pursue and the Woman didn't chase. They let *God* do the matchmaking. And yes, the story of how they both came together (Genesis 2:18-24-25) indicates that this was a man and a woman who fully and totally trusted God. And through it all, their marriage lasted. Until death parted them.
It all brings me back to an article that I read on a Jewish website that I like entitled "The Matchmaker":
The story is told that a Roman matron once asked Rabbi Yose: "How has your G-d been occupying his time since He finished the creation of the world?" "He has been busy pairing couples," answered the Rabbi.
She was astonished. "Is that His trade? Even I can do that job. As many man-servants and maid-servants as I have, I can pair."
"Perhaps it is a simple matter in your eyes," replied the Rabbi. "For G-d, it is as intricate as the splitting of the sea."
She promptly placed one thousand man-servants opposite one thousand maid-servants and declared, "He will marry her, she will marry him," and so on.
The next morning, two thousand servants came to her door, beaten and bruised, complaining, "I do not want her, I do not want him!"
She sent for Rabbi Yose, and conceded: "Rabbi, your Torah is true." The Talmud explains: Matchmaking was a simple matter in her eyes because she, unlike G-d, could not understand the fundamental differences in the human character that militate against one stranger being successfully matched with another.
There is no doubt, the Talmudic Sages conclude, that G-d Himself had to be the first and ultimate shadkhan (matchmaker). Who else could blend two disparate personalities so that they cleave together "as one flesh?" Did he not arrange the union of Adam and Eve? The conclusion was irresistible, and it was written no fewer than five times in midrashic literature: "Marriages are made in Heaven."
*Marriages are made in heaven*. Or at least, they are supposed to be. One thing that all of us need to keep in mind about God and his perfect will is "I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him." (Ecclesiastes 3:14-NKJV) Yes, a part of the reason why Christ said that what God joins, *no man is to separate* (including the two spouses involved--Matthew 19:6) is because, since the beginning of time, since the Garden of Eden and the very first marriage, a marital union, *no matter what*, was designed to last forever.
That's why we need to be *very careful* about declaring what kind of relationship is of God. If it truly is of him, there will be spiritual fruit (Matthew 12:33) and an amazing tenacity (I Corinthians 13:4-8) that will confirm it.
Not only that, but if it is of God, there will be no need to be anxious (Philippians 4:6-7) during the waiting time (Romans 8:22-29-Message) because you will know that God is making both you and him whole (James 1:4) and spiritually insightful enough to make *the best choice*: GOD'S CHOICE.
Out of the millions and millions of people on the planet...
Your future husband will be wise enough to choose you.
You will be wise enough to choose him in return.
Whatever else is going on in the world won't matter...
Someone else's looks won't matter.
Someone else's accomplishments won't matter.
Even someone else who is interested won't matter.
Why? Because you and he will be trusting God to be your matchmaker...
You will have the faith that, out of so many, he will unite the two of you. Perfectly. (Psalm 18:30-32)
One spiritual sistah to another, please do what God told me to do...
Don't spend so much time choosing...
Surrender your choice.
So that you can know what it's like to have a marriage that is truly made in heaven.
So that you can proudly say someday "Out of the many, I am my husband's chosen one!"