|Treasure in the Dirt - #6983|
|A Word With You - Your Hard Times|
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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A friend of ours told us about a lady in his area who just lost her husband. They had this beautiful farm, but it was really more than she wanted to maintain without him. Some of it was devoted to a wonderful vegetable garden that she'd cared for many years. After her husband's death, she offered to let her neighbors treat that garden as if it was their garden. Well, one day the man next door was picking carrots. and he suddenly stopped to examine one carrot that was very unusual. It seemed to have grown into an hourglass shape; it was wide at the top and the bottom. It was really like narrow at the center. As he brushed the dirt off that carrot, he was shocked at what he found. There was a gold ring right in the center of the carrot!
Somehow this carrot had grown all around and through that ring. And inside that ring was a date from 50 years ago. So the neighbor took it to the widow who promptly melted into tears. Her husband, who had died just after their 50th anniversary, had given her this ring on their wedding day. But she'd lost it many years ago. And now this precious treasure had been found in a most unlikely place.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Treasure in the Dirt."
Our word for today from the Word of God Philippians 3:10 . It expresses the passion of the Apostle Paul's heart in five little words that really framed his whole life. Here they are: "I want to know Christ." See, Paul understood that this Jesus relationship is the center of this life and it's what our life will be all about for all eternity.
So, after 30 years of a dynamic walk with and ministry for Jesus, he is still in pursuit, "I want to know Christ." And he goes on, "And I want to know the power of His resurrection." Well, couldn't you use more of that resurrection power in your life to handle what's happening right now? Then he says, "And the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings; becoming like Him in His death." "The power of His resurrection"-good. Suffering? Not so much.
But the way to the power is through the pain. See, you can't have an Easter without a Good Friday. And you may be living your Good Friday part of the process right now. But remember what happened in that garden. They found precious treasure in the dirt, in a place you would never expect to find it.
That's how it is with getting really close to Jesus. The greatest treasures are often found in the grit and the dirt of our pain and our pressure. Notice the beautiful word that redeems that painful word suffering, "The fellowship of sharing in His suffering." You can touch Jesus in the valley in ways you'll never touch Him on the mountain top. Those who know Jesus most intimately, who radiate His power most evidently, are those who have walked through the deepest valleys with Him.
There's a bonding with Jesus that can happen when you've run out of you; when you've run out of your resources and you just collapse in His strong and loving arms. There's a release of His power in your life that wasn't possible when you were still able to go on your power. Those who know Jesus best are those who have needed Him the most. Those who need Him the most are those who are going through the most.
You don't get to choose whether or not you go through this painful time. But you can decide that you will capture this time to know Jesus as you have never known Him before. If you're going to get the pain, you might as well get the point.
You're in a position now to discover what that gardener found in a very unlikely place; what suffering believers have discovered in God's garden for centuries. There is great treasure in the dirt.