Family Tymes
444 Ellicott St.
Batavia, NY 14020
585-297-3009


 

 

Inspirational


Find the Hidden Treasure
By Sharon Jaynes

Several years ago, I chaperoned a group of fourth graders on a field trip to Reid Gold Mine. The tour guide took us through dark musty tunnels, explaining how the miners one hundred years ago, searched for veins of gold imbedded in the rocks and hidden beneath the mud. Many panned for years in hopes of finding a few valuable nuggets. After the tour we each grabbed a sieve and panned for gold in the mountain stream.

First we lowered our pans into the mud and filled our sieves. Then we shook the pans back and forth, allowing the clear stream water to flow over its contents. The silt and dirt filtered through the screen and fell back into the stream as hopeful children (and a few adults) searched for gold. Unfortunately, none of us struck it rich that day, but I did walk away with a valuable lesson.

As I filled the sieve with mud, I saw a picture of the dirt in my own life. Then as the water washed over the painful memories, I envisioned God's love washing each mistake and pain through the sieve and out into the mountain stream.

For most of us, our pasts are filled with more dirt than we'd like to admit. But just like panning for gold, we can sift through the mud and silt, allow God's cleansing to wash over our memories, and discover the gold. One of the most valuable treasures forged from difficult life circumstances, is the gift of being able to use your experiences to help others. Paul said, God "comforts us In all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (I Corinthians 1:4) In other words, God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, He comforts us to make us comfort – able, able to comfort others.

Our past trials and victories give us the supernatural ability to empathize with someone going through a similar struggle. No one can help a woman who suffers from the guilt of a past abortion like the woman who has received healing and forgiveness from that same past mistake. No one can bind the open wounds left by an abusive husband or boyfriend like a woman who bears the same residual scars. No one can wipe away the tears of a mother who is watching a wayward teenager make poor choices like the mother who has welcomed a prodigal home. No one can minister to a woman who feels like damaged goods because of childhood sexual abuse like the abused woman who now sees herself as a holy, pure, child of the King.

Victory over hardships is a priceless treasure God has entrusted to us that we can in turn invest into the lives of others. In the parable of the talents found in Matthews 25, a landowner went away on a trip. Before he left, he gave three of his servants talents (or pieces of money). To one he gave five talents, to one he gave two, and to one he gave one. The one to whom he gave five talents invested them and gave the owner ten upon his arrival back home. The one to whom he gave two talents invested them and gave the owner four. But the servant who had one talent, buried it in the sand out of fear. The master was very unhappy and took the lone talent away and gave it to the servant who had invested wisely. (Matthew 25:14-28).

Victory over hardship as a treasure - a talent. God is not pleased when we bury it in the sand because of fear, but is delighted when we invest those talents in the lives of others.

Discovering the hidden treasure in any struggle or trial can sooth a wound better than any salve imaginable. The treasure may be increased knowledge of the character of God or a heightened awareness of His working in your life. It could be a character trait of your own that is sharpened or spiritual growth that could only come in the laboratory of life. The treasure might be a heightened sensitivity to the struggles of others. Like most treasure, you might have to dig through mounds of dirt before you discover it, but the eternal value is worth the effort.

My Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, I know that you are in control of all things and that you can use everything that happens in my life for your glory. I give you all the muck and mire of my life and pray that you will make it fertile soil in which to grow a bountiful crop. Help me to not grow bitter when life doesn't turn out the way I had hoped, but to grow better because of what I learn about your character and care through my circumstances. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Do a little gold mining in your own life. Think of the gold that you have discovered through unpleasant circumstances. Write them down and turn your list into a prayer of praise.

Reflection Points:

  • How have you ever seen God use a bad situation for His ultimate glory? Explain.
  • Is there some circumstance in your life that you are having trouble letting go of?
  • Is there some area of your life in which you have struggled and are now experiencing victory?
  • Have you considered that perhaps God wants you to help someone who is experiencing a similar situation?
  • Have you buried your treasure in the sand because of fear, or are you investing it in others?

Power Verses:

"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet: but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14 NASB).

God "comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (I Corinthians 1:4)

Joseph said to his brothers…"You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive" (Exodus 50:20).

"But he [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).

After Job's trials he said, "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you" (Job 42: 5).

 
~*~


Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and author of ten
books including Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids, Becoming the Woman of
His Dreams, and Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God. For information about
Sharon's books or speaking topics, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.


 

© 2005-2014 FamilyTymes.org - All Rights Reserved