Digging Up Treasure

This year I set off to discover the very best treasure. Don’t think shiny gold coins and a big X on a map, the bling of big diamonds or sparkling jewels. This treasure is found in clay jars, in the dark places and joys of daily life. My One Word chosen for 2014 is Treasure, and I wanted to discover what it means to find delight in my Heavenly Father.

How have I been doing in this intentional journey? I have seen God in His glory in a fresh way, glimpsed just a bit of how amazing His love is. I have witnessed His majesty anew in the gorgeous poofy clouds that billow up over the clear blue Cambodia sky as the start of rainy season draws near. I have felt like my heart was about to burst with awe, even with the electricity off and sweat pouring down in a room all squeezed together with brothers and sisters who share the same purpose as we lifted our voices together in praise.

My teammate and I asked God for vision. We prayed and He gave us separately the same idea, renewing our passion and burdening our hearts for His Name raised high on the praises of these people.

There have been so many things that have caused me to stop and just marvel at this great God that we serve.

But what about when our Khmer friends’ young son died after a year-long battle with leukemia? Does this God I treasure and worship come to the hurting and is He found in the pain? We studied the story of Satan’s temptation of Eve in the Garden and the consequences for sin, and my language teacher asked, “What happens to the people that have never heard?” Do I treasure God’s justice, His judgement? This is the hard part, when I wrestle and cry, seek to understand the mysterious and put all this before Him again and again and declare that I must delight in all of who God is.

There has been a part I never expected, words spoken to my heart in the throes of my first year of language learning, the days it seemed this introverted farm girl is not cut out for work in a foreign land.

I have heard His whisper: “You know those areas where you think you failed? You don’t feel like you are good enough? I don’t think that way about you. You are My treasure”.

Does treasuring my Father mean discovering what He thinks of me too? My worship of Him is not dependent on this; He deserves my praise in the joy and in the hard, the pain and breakthroughs, because He is worthy. I’m not there yet, I don’t always know how to treasure when I don’t feel like it. I don’t know what else He wants to speak to the deep parts of my heart and how this will impact my delight in who He is, but I keep pressing in, pressing on in this journey.

What ways have you found to delight in God in the dark, hard things?

Photo Credit: dbnunley via Compfight cc

4 Comments

  1. Kim A. June 12, 2014

    Oh this is so fun to read.  My word was also treasure and it has meant something totally different!  I feel like Mary (mother of Jesus) as she had no real idea what she was in for, but held the hopes, thoughts, expectations, close to her heart….treasured them.  We are in our first 6 months of living overseas with our family and it has been a tough go.  As I gather up the thoughts and look back on the last six months I can see the thread of God speaking through those around me, through His word and through this new culture to remind me that my place is always in Him, no matter where I am or how tough circumstances may be!

    1. Sarah H June 12, 2014

      Kim, that is so cool that your word is also treasure! I love the direction that God is taking you with this. Having just passed the one year mark, there are so many things that I would rather NOT hold close and ponder. It is HARD to adjust to a new place, culture, language and just even do life. But I have found if I don’t stop to count the gifts, see God’s hand in the hard things, then I miss them completely. I miss getting to see the ways that He is faithful and SO, SO good to me! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  2. Stephanie June 12, 2014

    I just found out about Velvet Ashes. My husband and I have just passed the one year mark of living in Thailand working with children rescued from sex trafficking. I received an email today with this post in it. God knew exactly what my heart needed to hear. I had probably nearly one of the worst days I’ve had since being here. I’m feeling like a total failure. Not good enough. Not valued. A bit worthless. To be honest just all around crap. As I was crying my eyes out, I read that beautiful quote of what God says about you, about me. He doesn’t see me for all my failures and shortcomings. He treasures me! He loves me! He brought me to the place I am today and He put me there for a reason. As hard as it is to really put this truth into practice, its exactly what I need to read after a day like today to help prepare me for more days to come that bring the same feelings. Thank you for sharing what God laid on your heart. It has really touched me today and brought some encouragement to a pretty discouraging day.

    1. Sarah H June 12, 2014

      Stephanie, God is so good to meet us where we are! I love that He ministered to Your heart after such a discouraging day. I have had PLENTY of those myself, sometimes wondering why in the world He asked me of all people to come here where surely there are much more qualified people. Yet He still chooses to use me, to grow me and refine me and to remind me who I am in Him- not based on what I or other people think. Praying that our Father continues to do that for you, showing you the ways He is using you in such a hard, hard place and ministry.

      Sarah

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