Finders-Keepers

jewels

Proverbs 2:4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God.

With a little descriptive elaboration, this is a vision I had in prayer 8 days ago.

I saw a woman in a church who had nothing and was offered everything. She accepted the offer. There was great celebration and the minister invited her to stay as long as she liked. Hours passed. Days passed. Weeks and months. During her stay, from time to time the minister would bring her a jewel. Refined, polished and set, the presentation was awe inspiring. She would receive each jewel presented to her with much appreciation and it would always remind her she was promised everything. Although the jewels were captivating, she always noticed that the minister who brought them was very dirty. His nails were filled with dirt and his face marred with smears of mud where sweat had been wiped away. “How hard this person must have worked to unearth this stone for me,” she thought as she would take note of the filth. “I wonder where he finds them?” Strangely juxtaposed to the grime was the contentment and satisfaction in his eyes as well as the brawn of the muscle and the health in this digger’s bones.

Over time, the treasures amassed around her as she became accustomed to waiting for another polished sapphire, ruby or diamond to be delivered. In the end, she withered.

The delivering minister remained fit and strong, digging in the dirt to serve her the treasures he discovered. He was confused because he thought the treasure would keep her healthy, as well. But she wasted away in the middle of the church and the treasures, for they could not truly belong to her but to the one who unearthed them. As she breathed her last, he held her in his arms and sorrowfully repented, “I promised you everything, but I failed. I never taught you how to dig.”

Imagine if the Bible said, “if someone hands you silver or gives you a hidden treasure, you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.” Seems absurd, yes?  Yet, it is attempted regularly in churches across America.  The treasure of wisdom and revelation handed to someone on a platter will at best create a dependent diabetic. God wants you healthy, so dig. He’ll meet you on the hunt.

Use it or lose it

wallet

Luke 8:25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who can this be?, He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!”

He had cured a leper, rebuked fever, restored strength to a paralytic, delivered a man of demonic possession and had even raised a widow’s son from the dead. But they still didn’t understand His power, the extent of His capability and some might argue who He really was. Luke remembered these 4 words of rebuke.  They must have been piercing that night as Jesus was still rubbing the sleep out of His eyes. “Where is your faith?”

I lost my wallet recently. The search was intense for a couple of days and when a funny charge showed up on one of my accounts, I began the painstaking task of cancelling and then re-ordering my cards.
I wonder how many husbands are like me. When I lose something, I really look for it before I holler for help from my other half. It seems that when I finally give up, reaching my plateau of internal frustration and I ask for help, she finds the missing item so quickly, I feel like I’m blind.  At those particular points, I kind of wish I was. Not only would I have an excuse, but I wouldn’t see that slight roll of the eyes and a raised eyebrow that speaks something between, “I don’t get you” and “I’m exasperated with you.”

Normally, that’s the way it goes.  And although it’s a moment of painful humility, at least it’s over. She found what I couldn’t and we can move on. But it’s worse when she can’t find it. Why? Because here come the 20 questions: “When did you last see it? Do you remember when you used it last? Did you take it with you when you went to work? And I just stare into her face responding to each question “uhmmm” as if some defining memory is going to jump into my mental blankness. Nothing. “Did you use it yesterday?” It was the only thing I could remember. I hadn’t. In fact, it had been more than a day since I used my wallet at all. I didn’t need gas. I hadn’t eaten out. I simply hadn’t used it.  And now I had lost it.

Jesus asked, “Where is your faith?” Another gospel writer remembers Him asking another question. “Why are you so timid?” Maybe there were some other questions about this missing faith. When did you last see it? Do you remember when you used it last? Did you take it with you when you went to work? Did you use it yesterday?

Let’s make sure we don’t find ourselves in a life-storm looking for our faith. Keep it on you and consider that maybe the best way to keep from losing it is to use it every day. It might even change the way you pray.