September 2023

This Treasure

As we stepped across the threshold of the quaint antique store, the smell of eucalyptus was hovering in the air and the sound of a box fan tickled our ears. It boded well for a few precious moments of wandering amidst the treasures of times past. In a back corner I happened upon an interesting vessel that could have been a vase or candle holder. I lifted it for my husband to admire, and he was quick to encourage the purchase. When we checked out, having talked briefly with the proprietor, she wrapped my find carefully and put it in a bag, topped it with pretty tissue and tied the handles with ribbon. What a nice surprise.

I love a pretty package. Whether a brightly colored box, wrapping paper and ribbon, or artfully decorated bag. The trimmings, to me, are often as important as the contents. However, sometimes the most exciting things come in unadorned external wrappings. As though to slip in unannounced and without fanfare. Hidden, as it were, until the moment of discovery.

At times, God seems to appreciate hidden, quiet entrances. As He did in sending Jesus to a young, seemingly un-renowned couple in Galilee to be born in the night and laid in a lowly manager. Of course, He did proclaim an amazing birth announcement via the angels to the terrified shepherds, but even still this glory was shown to a hand full of shepherds, not to the prominent people of the town or to the leaders of the community.

When we encounter Jesus and invite Him into our hearts, this mysterious and hidden event changes the course of our lives forever. It may not be immediately apparent to onlookers or even close friends, but those with wondering eyes to see may witness the unseen and glimpse the glory of God.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV) This verse gives us an indication of God’s design and purpose. We are not gods. We are not individualists seeking to make a name for ourselves or to be important in the eyes of the world. We are, rather, vessels of His glory and His power. I am thankful for this truth. It reminds me not to trust my earthly sight or to lean on earthly understanding. The greatest treasure is often hidden and subject to God’s own revelation.

Dear One, let us have eyes of wonder, seeking the hidden things of the Kingdom of God. Let us be willing to embrace the unexpected and look for evidence of His nature in the people around us. And more, let us dig into His word to find the treasures of His truth revealed there, prayerfully considering all that He wants to show us of Himself and our own hearts. A well-used Bible has a certain loveliness that bespeaks of time with Him.

Yes, our outer man is decaying. Yes, we are cracked pots, at best. That is the nature of the temporary. The eternal things of God belong to God, and the power that sustains us within is His. It is for His glory that heaven touches earth. And it is for His glory that heaven enters our hearts.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul // lyrics – YouTube

(Still having trouble embedding videos. Follow this link to a great old hymn.)

Until next week, beloved, encounter the treasure within.

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