Finding the Treasure
My kids have the best devotional book, called “Jesus Calling.” It’s geared towards youth, but five out of 10 times I’m still so moved I find myself choking back tears, pretending to chew Eggo while re-grouping…. “Okay guys… sniff… where were we.”
Every day’s chapter is amazing, but one recent theme about God planting little ‘treasures’ for us to discover during our every day, really stuck with me. The author explained how God loves to delight us, and how we so often miss special blessings because we’re too busy, or too focused on the wrong things.
There was thankfully no sobbing this time, but I took it to heart. If I’m missing treasures daily, then dern it, they would be found, and please Lord let some of them be caffeinated. So that next day I basically I prayed to be dazzled, and waited for the heavens to part upon our Saturday.
Aaaaand then I had the worst day, ever. I forgot the creamer at the grocery store (black coffee is the devil’s brew), kids were literally head-butting over the Switch remote, and when we got to the Christmas tree farm I realized they only took cash. Occurring at the exact moment my kids decided after a decade of tree cutting, that this was now the lamest activity in westernized culture. It made the trek to the ATM and arduous trunk sawing that more magical.
Soon afterwards I found myself demonstrating Christlike patience with the lady CVS who assured me over the phone that they carried playing cards (I spend most Saturdays playing poker with my boys. Where are my daughters, Lord?) and then looked at me like I was a flying dragon from House Targaryen when showing up asking for the card aisle.
“We don’t carry playing cards.”
“I just called five minutes ago asking if you had playing cards.”
“Huh. We don’t carry them, though.”
Jesus, take the wheel.
It wasn’t the worst of days-usually the standard for a ‘good day’ is set pretty low at the boys escaping bodily injury and agreeing on a family movie-but sometimes we just feel extra defeated when we’re hoping things will go as planned, or feeling especially exhausted. I began a slow decline into self-pity while white-knuckling it to the next store when just like that, a little piece of rainbow- literally a square shaped piece in the sunny sky appeared for like one minute, and then it was gone. It was the weirdest/coolest natural occurrence I’d seen in a while. Huh. And for that minute or two in the car, I just felt the Lord’s total peace and presence, and joy infiltrate my sap-covered car, which admittedly happens often, but this seemed more poignant. Okay God. Thank you.
A little later, my middle son, who’s currently in a special phase of being too cool for, well, anything, giddily insisted on decorating the tree with me…and he hugged me…twice… spontaneously. Amazing stuff. Pretty sure my hair even got thicker that night.
As I reflected on the day later on, I realized my treasures were found in an otherwise ‘yuck,’ day, and I’m not sure if I would have been open enough to see or experience them if I wasn’t expecting it. Most other days I would probably just sunk lower and lower with disappointment, but it’s the child-like anticipatoin that God will show up, that I think pleases him the most.
I’ll never quite figure out the balance, frequency, or exact formula, but God has his ways and reasons for how and when his blessings and little surprises come. The fact that the God of the universe would care so much, to insert extra nuggets of joy and wonder in our daily minutia- a special song coming on that he meant just for you, or a friend spontaneously wanting to pick up your kids-is amazing, and I still think we either miss most of it, or don’t realize it’s his kind and generous hands, behind it.
One of my favorite scriptures is about God delighting over us, with gladness. I can be pretty weird and unlovable sometimes, so it feels almost uncomfortable thinking about him delighting over me, all the time, but it’s true. Caught that road rage earlier, right Lord?! I really think he’s always trying to ‘wow’ us and give show more of his wonder than we expect, which is amazing because he’s already given us the gift of inner peace and unshakable joy. God himself is the treasure, and any other gifts along the way- unexpected hugs, a financial blessing or a random rainbow sighting, are just frosting on the cake, and demonstrations of his generous, fun heart.
We’re not in heaven yet, and life can be so stressful, arduous and just blahhhh sometimes, but I never want to want to let the muck here blind me to the tangibility of heaven on Earth. So after that day I’ve been hunting more, and trying to be more grateful for the giver, than the treasure. Haven’t seen a billboard for free Starbox for boy moms, yet. But I’m always looking up. : ) Zephaniah 3:17.