Treasures In The Dust

I finally discovered the name for my blog after the last few posts.  Treasures In The Dust. I already wrote about how God's will is a treasure-often in disguise or hidden in the dust and dirt and sometimes even buried in the thick smelly mud of tragedy.

A treasure can also be things that we learn about God as we go through life. I will always remember reading Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. This is one of my all-time favorite books. In that book, the main character, Much Afraid, would collect a stone each time she learned a new lesson with the Shepherd (Jesus). Here is a quote from that book after the Shepherd asked her to give him the bag of stones (Her name at this point has already been changed to Grace and Glory):

"She took it out and passed it to him and then he bade her hold out her hands. On doing so, he opened the little purse and emptied the contents into her hands. Then she gasped again with bewilderment and delight, for instead of the common, ugly stones she had gathered from the altars along the way, there fell into her hands a heap of glorious, sparkling jewels, very precious and very beautiful. As she stood there, half-dazzled by the glory of the flashing gems, she saw in his hand a circlet of pure gold.

"O thou who was afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, " he said, "behold I lay thy stones with fair colors."...At that moment Grace and Glory remembered the cave in which she had sheltered from the floods, and how nearly she had succumbed to the temptation to discard as worthless those stones which now shone with glory and splendor in the crown upon her head. She remembered too, the words which had sounded in her ears and had restrained her, "Hold fast that thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Supposing she had thrown them away, had discarded her trust in his promises, had gone back on her surrenders to his will? There could have been no jewels now to his praise and glory, and no crown for her to wear." (pp 197-198)

It would be easy to overlook an ugly stone and not give it the value our heavenly father gives it.  How sad it would be to never see the treasure and to only view the plain, dusty or muddy stones!  Let us not miss the lessons we are carefully taught by our Shepherd, and let us not discard them as worthless in our times of disappointment and discouragement!  They are beautiful glistening from our Savior!  Gifts that keep us during the hard times, promises that last and that are real and they will not dissappoint!

We are also His treasures!  His beautiful creation!  Because of Jesus, God sees us as beautiful treasures --not the dusty (imperfect, sinful) stones of this world.  We are the apple of his eye, his treasure!  His treasure that He created from the dust!

So this is how I came to the name of my blog, for I hope to share the treasures I have  collected along this journey that they would encourage others and maybe even reveal a treasure or two for you!    2 Cor 1:3-7  has been my verse for a long time.  It says, "3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

Let us become rock collectors, that we will not forget what Jesus has done for us!

Other verses that apply to this post:

Proverbs 7:2
Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

Deuteronomy 32:10
In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,

Genesis 2:7
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Treasures That Save

Today at church while our Pastor spoke about two sections of scripture, I couldn't help but be reminded of some loose ends in this blog that I wanted to tie up. The loose ends are from the posts  entitled, "Established, For the Sake of His Children" and "Embracing Autism"  I love it how God keeps bringing topics up in different ways!   I had wanted to expand on the "for the sake of His children" thought and it ties so nicely with the the hidden treasures in the "Embracing Autism" post! So here it goes:

Our Pastor spoke about about the verse I wrote on in the post called Embracing Autism. Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

He also spoke about  2 Kings 7:3-16 where 4 men with leprosy were banned from the people and forced to stay outside the city gates.  There was a famine at the time so whether they stayed in the city or out, the 4 people would die.  So they decided to leave the area and go up to the camp of the Arameans and surrender.  Then they would either be saved by them, or killed but they figured they'd at least have a 50% chance at living instead of no chance.  It turned out when they arrived, the Arameans had left, because God had made them hear chariots, horses and a great army that made them think the Israelites were going to attack them.  So "The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace."  2 Kings 7:8-9.

The good news that they were keeping to themselves, was that they would not die of the famine because of the abundant food and supplies they had access to.   And they knew it was wrong to keep it to themselves, and only save themselves--so they went back and told the Israelites the good news so they could be saved as well and have plenty of food to eat.

So what is our good news?

The good news in 2 Kings is like the treasure in Matthew 13.  To keep that treasure--ultimately, that God sent Jesus to die for us so we could be saved and have relationship with Him and because he loves us THAT MUCH, but that also encompasses us selling ourselves to live for God--to live for that treasure: Jesus.  We know that is not as easy as it seems when the treasure in Gods' will does not line up with what we imagine a treasure should look like.  But once the treasure is revealed, it would be wrong to not share it!  To keep all the hope and beauty to ourselves and not tell our friends about it so they could also enjoy the vast amounts of "food" during the time of famine?

When we embrace the will of God, that is a treasure, for to be able to see things as our Heavenly Father sees them, all the fog and dust are blown away to reveal an absolute gem that glistens brighter than anything else in its midst!

So how do I do this?  How do I share the treasure that I see in autism for the sake of His people...for the sake of those who don't know Him yet?  For the sake of those who do know Him but are devastated by the tragedy?  How do I do this when I am mostly at home with my children and still quite isolated because of our needs having two out of three young children with autism? This is not as easy as it seems when we are still quite isolated.  But God has provided a way for such a time as this--writing in the sea of Blog.  Casting out fishing line into the unknown oceans in the internet.  I do hope and pray that these treasures are being revealed to all who read this.  That many readers are unmet friends in similar circumstances.  That my friends who read this would pass it along to those they have contact with who are in the midst of dealing with autism or other similar circumstances!  I pray that God would give me words of encouragement that can reach all these unknowns, that they may know Jesus, and that His treasures will be revealed to them.  Treasures that Save.