Today my sister Jan and I do something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time–we go treasure-hunting! We each have our own idea of what comprises “treasure” in this spot but that doesn’t matter, we’re each hunting something that delights our soul.
Have you ever heard of “sea glass”? I learned about it when I spent ten days with my sister-in-law Trini at the beach in Delaware and have been bitten by the sea-glass-bug ever since. In fact, I must say I’ve become fairly obsessed with it.
Sea glass is broken glass that has washed up on the beach, jagged edges worn smooth from tumbling in the water and sand over a long period of time. Though it’s harder to find now (because we mostly drink from plastic bottles) people collect it and make it into jewelry. (The trick is to trust that what you’re paying a lot for wasn’t just tumbled in a rock tumbler but really DID come from the ocean.) Trini and I spent hours of pleasure walking along the waves and searching under sea weed and debris for bits of glass, the rarer or brighter colors being the bigger treasure.
My brother arrived one day from NC for a visit and presented me with some beautiful glass he’d found in a creek on the way to KY as he stretched his legs, giving me the idea of “creek glass.” Of course there is lots of glass to be found that is nothing more than broken glass, but I love finding it too, the colors and shapes are still beautiful (though it has to be handled carefully).
So Jan and I head to our favorite creek, arriving about 4:00 in the afternoon. She isn’t interested in finding glass so what she finds she gives to me. Her treasure is beautiful rocks and fossils (not that I don’t love rocks and fossils myself).
After eating her picnic lunch (I’ve already eaten) Jan settles down on a rock upstream with her feet in the water to enjoy Jesus and the view.
I squat on the rocks by the creek (later getting some REALLY sore thigh muscles for my effort) and think about how this is like hunting for the treasures that God has for us, things that say “Hey, I’m here and I’m helping you. I’m walking right here beside you so don’t forget it.” He loves for us to seek out all the lovely things he has hidden for us. My eyes skim the rocks as I look for that speck of color or something that is too smooth or uniform to be a rock. God talks in the Bible about what I’m doing, telling us in Deuteronomy 33:18-19 that “…they will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the treasures hidden in the sand.” And in Job 28:9-11 “We tunnel through the rocks; our eyes see all its treasures. We search the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.” The small God-treasures hidden throughout each day are the things he does for me just because he loves me so much. They’re how he hugs me as I go about my life, how he smiles at me.
What are some God-treasures I’ve found lately? Well, last week as I went to Ohio to see my friend Marilyn for my once-a-year visit I spent the first day in their bathroom throwing up and losing every drop of water in my body from every way possible. No, that wasn’t the treasure, but as sick as I was I smiled gratefully at Jesus as he held my head and loved on me. And it was wonderful to have him there keeping me company as I was throwing up.
Treasures? Seeing my new granddaughter smile at me. Showing my two older granddaughters the beautiful angel statues as they and their mom walked with me in the cemetery yesterday. General Tso’s Chicken with my brother-in-law. Lying in my soft bed talking to Jesus as I prepare to fall asleep. Mocha Chip ice cream as I read my book. Sleeping in a beautiful attic room with a window looking down on the world below. Then there are all the deep breaths as I inhale Jesus’ love, making me feel so hugged and held.
God’s treasures in our day are there for the taking, hiding in the nooks and crannies of our life, easily passed by unless we’re searching for them. It delights him when we will take the time to notice them, to seek them out, to say thank you for such lovely treasures.
Jesus is here with me now as I’m hunting glass. It’s our game and he enjoys looking with me. And as I scan the rocks for glass he shows me other treasures, like this fern laid out on a rock.
I exclaim over this view of creation to Jesus, how he made it, how, even though I know heaven is more beautiful I can’t imagine how it can be. He points out things I might miss, like the palisades (high cliffs), reminding me to also lift my eyes off the minutiae in the rocks and enjoy the rest of the view (I have a tendency to get tunnel vision with my obsession of glass until my eyes are falling out of my head). As Jan and I are chased away from the creek by darkness we carry our treasures to the car–my Zip-lock bag of glass and her two big rocks and driftwood.
Why don’t you go on a treasure hunt? As you walk through your rock-filled day keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of color, for the beauty of things that God has put there for you to find, treasures and hugs from him. He’ll walk with you and help point them out so you can find them, and at times he’ll lead you over to a certain spot just so you can “find” a beautiful treasure placed there just for you!
Tonight as I lay in bed there are visions of treasures dancing in my head and I fall asleep with a smile on my face.