Hello beautiful people!
It’s Friday morning, and since the city is still working to clear the snow from main roads and side streets, I have yet another work day all to myself. I have become spoiled, and when everything is cleaned up, I am going to miss my uninterrupted morning time with Jesus where I get to sip coffee, listen to music, read my word and devotionals…and of course, write to you, beautiful.
For the past few days, I have been thinking about a pirate’s treasure chest. Odd, I know, right? But we have this historical vision from Hollywood of there having to be this convoluted process to get to the good stuff inside of the chest:
- You have to know that a chest is in existence…
- Then you have to go on a quest to get to the treasure chest, which usually involves battling some kind of creature from the black lagoon:
- Then once you get to the place where the treasure is, you have to dig it up…
- You have to figure out where the key is, etc, etc…
There is never anything as simple as the treasure chest being right there in the movies, because that removes all of the suspense, drama, and 90 minutes of the running time from the equation.
Hold on to this pirate analogy…I’ll be back to it. Promise.
I was in a car supply store a couple of days ago, because Winter Storm Jonas flippantly decided that making the roads impassable and closing my job wasn’t enough–he had to break my windshield wipers as well. There is this giant book in the car store where you can look up the make and model of your car to see what wipers you need to attach to your car. While looking through this manual the size of my head and wondering to myself whether my Civic actually had other letters that I didn’t know about (news flash: it did!), my aunt helpfully said, ” you know, you can just ask one of the staff to put it in the computer and what you need will pop up.” I thought, “well, that’s much faster!”, and off we went.
While we were waiting in line, I heard a cashier complain to a coworker about a customer who apparently asked her a question and gave her major flak for not being able to point him in the right direction. Then, I heard those fateful words:
” I mean, I don‘t know nothing about cars, I just work here for real…”
I couldn’t believe that here this woman was, literally surrounded on all sides by tires, batteries, and car paraphernalia–and people who lived and BREATHED tires, batteries, and car paraphernalia, and she ADMITTED to knowing nothing as if that were an excuse.
I asked my aunt, “if she worked in Foot Locker and I had a question about whether this sneaker was good for running, would she tell me she didn’t know…she just WORKS around shoes?!”
But I have a question: How many of us “work around” Christ, but don’t really know Him?
Ouch, right? And thank you for being patient, babies, because this is where the pirate analogy comes back in. Remember how I said that in the movies, finding the treasure is always portrayed as this exhaustive process full of plot twists? My guess is that a lot of people think that knowing God and understanding His word is the same way. They think that to know God and to be “His” is this mystical process, inaccessible and impossible, and they would just rather not try.
Actually, the treasure is RIGHT THERE.
I worked at the Jewish Community Center for about 5 years, and while there, I learned so much about Judaism and the ritual/religious aspects of it. I went from knowing nothing before I started to being able to independently lead prayers and answer questions by the time I left, and while a lot of that was because I read information on my own, a lot of it was because I chased people down and asked until I understood.
It would have been a tragedy to leave there after 5 years knowing nothing (and being ok with that) when I had so many resources around me. Likewise, it is a tragedy for people to know NOTHING about God and how He loves them when every tool is already provided.
Ask, seek, knock, and try. God’s word (and His goodness) aren’t these far off, mystical entities that we have no hope of understanding. Two scriptures:
Acts 17:27 NLT- “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him–though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring’. And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen in gold or silver or stone”.
1 Corinthians 14:33 NLT- “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
God has said in His word that His promises and new mercies aren’t like that far off treasure chest packed in under hard earth…rather, that treasure is sitting in front of you with the key taped to the bottom of the chest and an instruction manual in front.
In order to know where that key is, you have to look in the instruction manual and it plainly tells you to grab the key and unlock the box. But if you refuse to read, you are literally [thisclose] to all that God has for you, staring at a closed chest. How to get in, you say?
Ask– Surround yourself with people that are already in the process of unlocking the chest and go get you some mentors in the faith.
Seek– When they tell you to read the manual (as they inevitably will), actually read it. Read it with them. Read it on your own. Like I tell my students, the best way to be a better reader is to read.
Knock– Once you see what the key is, where it is, etc, open up that treasure chest. Inside lies salvation, first and foremost. Beyond that, there lies grace, joy, peace, love, patience, knowledge, wisdom, vision, covenant friendship, servanthood–this is a pretty big chest. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
and finally, Try– One thing that you will probably hear me say more than anything else on this blog is that beautiful, God rewards pursuit. Press into Him. Don’t open up the chest and see all that is available and content yourself with knowing that you found the jewels and precious robes, man! Dig in there and you will see that everything in there is just your size.
Please, dear heart, don’t let your legacy be that you got close enough to the throne of grace to touch it, but you never took that integral step. Don’t be that girl in the auto supply store, positively surrounded by everything she needed to be excellent at what she did and never having the inclination to find out. There is so much here for you if only you want it.