Do you have a treasure chest? Perhaps you have an old, hand-crafted chest with a unique story attached to it. Or, perhaps your chest is homemade, decorated by you or someone you know. Or, maybe your special chest is a store-bought one, filled with jewelry or other little trinkets.
No matter. Maybe most of us don’t have “chests” anymore, but the concept of a treasure chest is still a familiar one. Children love the adventure and mystery of stories centered around searching for hidden treasure. Even adults are intrigued by the thoughts of treasures hidden and buried.
Today I am inspired by the words of Sally Clarkson on her blog “I Take Joy”. Her wise words speak directly to my heart. I quote them below here, from her blog entry on March 1: http://www.itakejoy.com/
During a quiet time one morning, my eyes lighted upon one of my little chests and the Holy Spirit impressed me to look at the heart of my children as treasures chests.
I realized that I wanted to fill them with such an abundance of relics of eternal value, that they would draw beauty, strength, guidance, assurance, courage, love the rest of their lives, so that they would always have bounty to draw from the rest of their lives.Realization came to me, though, that I could not give to them what I did not myself possess. If I wanted the souls of my children to be rich, then my soul needed to be rich because it was my soul they would draw from. And so the idea of intentionality began to engage the imagination of my heart.
Whatever I filled my mind with became the tutor of their education as I lived my moments in their presence. Whatever I had learned and embraced, became for them the message on my heart of my day. Investing time every morning with the Lord became the passion I passed on each morning over breakfast.
To see the little hearts around her as precious treasures, to be filled only with the good gifts from the Father of all good gifts– so sweet, so true. But, we can’t give out what we don’t have. Oh, the goodness of God, to speak truth to mothers and to inspire that which is beautiful, true, and of eternal value.
I can read about it so easily and fall in love with the words, the idea, the whole notion of it… my heart is saying, “yes, yes!”
Yes, it’s all fine and dandy right at this one moment, when I can quietly purpose to do the good thing.
But how about when I come down from this blogging mountain? How will it all work out, when I step once again right into the pain, the sin and the suffering of this tired, yearning world? What then? Will I be the woman I want to be, with whomever I am with, wherever I am, in the midst of whatever comes my way?
I don’t know. I fail on a regular (daily) basis, and the opportunities to sin will continue to present themselves daily.
But I also know this: there is hope. Sally explains:
The Holy Spirit comes into our lives to produce the fruit of Christ–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control, and so this is what I knew should be growing in me as I lived and abided in Him. I see that in God’s economy, it is possible to become a “great” person, because He is great and desires to produce in us His holiness, righteousness, integrity.
But, filling our own souls with His character and grace does not happen by accident. I know many who speak of being committed Christians, but few who are truly great women because of who they have become from years and years of devoting themselves to Him.
If I am to become that kind of woman, one from whom all in my presence can count on finding Him there; finding truth there, finding life and inspiration there, then it will only happen with a plan, that will take every moment of every day to mold me into such a person.
And so I understood, that we must become actively engaged in becoming the kind of person we would like for our children to become. We must model for them what we hope they will embrace and learn. And so, I became a treasure seeker–I pursued all that was excellent and good, seeking to model myself after the most excellent, the most beautiful, getting rid of the garbage that was in my heart, as often as I needed to, so that I could fill my soul with all that was good.
The time here on earth, spent alone and with other people, family, friends, and strangers… is being filled with either earthly, temporary stuff, or with heavenly treasures. Here is my prayer, for myself, and I pray my kids will also claim this as their own one day: “May my life be like that of a treasure seeker… pursuing pearls that are excellent, pure and holy… May I dwell on those things that have eternal value. May I seek wisdom daily, from His hand…praying, seeking, searching the mind of God, listening, and trusting… and may I view the souls of those around me as precious treasures. May I leave a mark of eternal beauty behind me, wherever I go.”
A life with riches beyond compare is found in knowing Him. I know it, I believe it, I’ve tasted it. My desire is that my life would show it.
1MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you,2Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly [a]Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it];
3Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
4If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures,
5Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God.(A)
6For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity,
8That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints.(B)
9Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and fair dealing [in every area and relation]; yes, you will understand every good path.
10For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you.
11Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you,
From Proverbs Chapter 2, Amplified Bible