During a recent time of helping with a course at the Ellel centre in Norway, we were all treated to a day out at a nearby mineral park. The first thing we saw was a very ordinary-looking rock about a metre tall - nothing special - except that it had been cut in half to reveal a cavity, completely lined with the most beautiful, sparkling, rich purple amethyst. It was truly breathtaking.
But then, as we entered the exhibition, we were wowed by one display after another. There was a pure white mineral that looked like a family of fluffy cotton balls hiding in a little cave-like rock! There were glistening turquoise minerals like spiny needles, pastel pink shards and orange pillars, jewel-coloured clusters of sparkling crystals, and metallic-looking minerals that looked like perfectly interlocking triangles, cubes and pentagons. We were so in awe of God, as we marvelled at all this treasure He’s designed with seemingly endless diversity.
“How do they know where to mine for all these hidden treasures?” I asked. “Oh, they’re under the ground in the rock everywhere here,” I was told. How amazing to think that all this beauty was for so long hidden in dark and secret places and no-one even knew it was there. And, of course, much is still there, lying as yet undiscovered. God, who put all these riches in the darkness so long ago, must be delighted when a geologist digs and searches until he finds the rock and then, on opening it up, discovers more hidden beauty.
But how much greater joy does it bring to God when we allow Him to dig deep into the secret place of our hearts, and He’s able to bring forth the rich treasure He created in us. Like the mineral in the rock, we usually have no idea it’s there. But God waits. He’s not in a hurry. He just waits for the time when we will come to Him with the ‘broken and contrite heart’ David speaks of (Psalm 51:8), where ‘the obstinacy of pride has been replaced by the humility of penitence’ (Cambridge Bible Commentary).
Then, as the Master Craftsman, He painstakingly begins His work of drawing forth and honing the beauty, the uniqueness, the individuality, talents and gifting that He hid in us from the very beginning … so that we might have the great privilege of shining for Him and giving glory back to Him: ‘We have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure’ (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You’re an amazing God. I stand in awe of all the diversity of Your creation. Thank You for all the beauty we see all around us in the sky and the trees, the flowers, the seas and rivers, and the hidden beauty under the ground and under the sea, which You’ve put there for us to discover and enjoy. And Father, thank You that You’ve hidden such rich treasure in us, Your children, too. Please open my eyes to see it in those You’ve put around me. And give me that broken and contrite heart, not to be locked in sinful pride, but to come before You in humility and true confession and repentance for Your forgiveness and cleansing, that You might bring forth the hidden treasure in me, and I might have the privilege of giving glory back to You. Amen.
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