Read His Words Before Ours!
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
which a man found and covered up.
Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Ellie* checks out my groceries at the local store almost every time, despite the size of the store and the many aisles to choose from. Truthfully, I tended to avoid her aisle about 3 years ago. She’s a bit rough around the edges and a little sharp with her demeanor. Ellie is older than me and one would think we have almost nothing in common, except being in the same store at the same time.
But three years ago, God began using Ellie to show me how rough my own edges were.
The edges of my heart.
It was lent, the 6 weeks before Easter, when God pressed on me to pray for total strangers.
Not just pray for them, but actually ask them how I could pray for them.
Verbally ask total strangers.
Whoever God’s Spirit told me to ask.
It was a hard request for me to receive, and follow through in obedience.
I love random, but that kind of random was r e a l l y stretching me.
But I said yes, having no idea where God would lead.
He lead me to Ellie.
I balked, but I spit out the words with what was hopefully coming across as a smile. I glanced at her name tag while I loaded up the conveyor belt with shredded cheese and tortillas, took a big breath, and said, “How can I pray for you, Ellie?”
My heart was pounding, but that’s pretty much what big-step-obedience feels like for me. Step into what God was already doing beforehand, and trust His plans are wiser than my own.
She threw in some colorful words, but she also fervently asked me for a genuine prayer request. I don’t remember what her specific request was now, but she did say something that stuck out to me, “I can always use prayer!”.
In that moment, I realized how sharp my own edges were. So sharp, I was willing to keep others at arms’ length (or longer) all because I had deemed them without value of my time or investment.
I had deeper heart issues than I realized.
Was I valuing my own view of being God’s treasure, without also extending that same view of treasure to others?
Had I decided I was more of a treasure than Ellie?
Those words aren’t easy to write, ladies.
Because they are painfully true.
Something else stuck out to me in our brief, but forever transformative encounter, Ellie recognized her need for God-sized intervention in her life, and she wanted it. She took all she knew of God and all she knew of herself, and said yes.
Sisters, I found treasure that day, and it changed my life forever.
As believers, we get scared pretty quick when it comes to telling other people about Jesus, don’t we? Come on, raise your hand with me, both of them. J
But when we come face to face with the crazy, amazing reality that we ourselves are the beloved of God, the treasure of Christ transforms us.
Remember the dude’s random story at the beginning of this Journey Study? The guy who discovered treasure and sold all he had in his joy to buy that field?
That guy is us!
We are called to give away the entirety of ourselves to hold unswervingly to the treasure of Jesus and abundantly share Him with everyone.
When I’m at the gas station, when I’m getting coffee, when I’m waiting in line at the check-out, when I’m talking with the gal who does my hair, when I chat with the neighbor down the street, I’m thinking about Ellie. I’m wondering what other treasure God has waiting for me to find as I intentionally invest in another life, by shifting my perspective and seeing them as Treasures instead of just faces.
As we obediently take one big breath of obedience after another, we eventually find ourselves on the brink of one breath away from sharing the full story of Jesus with our own “Ellie” because Jesus Himself has led us there, prepared the way behind and before, and is just waiting for us to step into obedience.
Now, I choose Ellie’s aisle on purpose. I know about her son, the way she likes her coffee, and what she did over the holidays. I pray for Ellie regularly that she would one day understand the fullness of what a precious treasure she is. When the day comes for me to fully tell the story of Jesus lavish love for her, I’m confident His Spirit will empower me to take a big breath and speak in obedience, just as He has been doing.
The last time I was in the store, Ellie chased me through the store unbeknownst to me, until she finally caught up to me, called my name, gave me a big hug, and said, “my favorite part about you is that you pray for me.”
In that moment, as I looked in Ellie’s eyes, I saw diamonds.
*Ellie’s name has been changed and some details modified to protect her story
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!