Digging for Treasure
By: Becky Schenk
Prayer, that treasure that brings us close to God often seems elusive, just beyond our grasp; much of the time because we fail to endure. As we search for the key to prayerfulness, we might be surprised to find it is not really hidden at all. It is as close as the sound of a whisper in our ear – or closer still – the cry of our own heart. If we would but respond to that whisper and to our heart’s cry to pray, perhaps we could develop the perseverance we need to continue in prayer. I did respond to that whisper one day when I took the time to listen. On this particular day, I was not looking for any lessons or insight. I simply went shopping for nine pretty buttons, or so I thought…
I made a quick trip to a local. pharmacy to check out their craft section, in the hope they still had a bargain button box. I was looking for nine decorative buttons to switch out the plain ones on a flowered dress I had recently purchased. What I came away with that day is far more valuable to me than the buttons I sought. The outcome of my shopping trip opened my eyes to the ways God will work in our lives when we allow ourselves to become aware of His presence while responding to a whisper.
The button box was right where I remembered it. I walked directly to the box in anticipation and began digging through all those different buttons. In no time at all I had found a card with two white rose-shaped buttons attached. They were just what I had in mind. I soon found a second card with three of the same style of rose buttons, but was disappointed to find that the buttons on the second card were slightly smaller. Thinking they might work in a pinch, I laid them off to one side so they would not once again become hidden in the treasure box of buttons.
Digging through that box, I felt like a little bit of a treasure hunter finding many buttons in delightful designs. I began setting them aside for safe-keeping just because I like them. They would eventually lead me to a lasting treasure far grater than buttons.
I realized I had been standing there for quite some time when one of the clerks came back to check on me. Then a thought came to me, seemingly from nowhere. “How many times,” I wondered, “have I spent as much time praying with the intensity that I have spent searching for these buttons?”
At one point, I’d even considered taking the box down, dumping some of the buttons on the floor, and kneeling down there to do a more thorough search. That led me to consider the need to get down on my knees more often to spend time digging in earnest prayer. I began to think – perhaps know – that Jesus was right there with me ready to speak to me about the lasting treasure that can only be found in prayer. Was I ready to listen?
In time, I found enough of the rose buttons I wanted to put on my dress. I did not look at my watch, but I am sure that when I gave up my search, I had used up the better part of an hour. Reluctantly, I put back most of the buttons I did not need. There were three styles I really liked, so I purchased a few cards of each, only because they appealed to me, I thought.
Driving home, something interesting occurred to me… each different style seemed to have a message for me in its design. I began to see the significance of each button’s shape, color, pattern and the way they all tied together. The first were the rose buttons, the second were white starfish on a blue background, third were mirrored silver disks, fourth were hearts in a quilt pattern.
Jesus is called the Rose of Sharon in the Bible, and as the first buttons were rose-shaped, I came to the conclusion that He wanted to tell me something through these buttons. When I thought about the little starfish on the blue background, it came to me that I want to (not just need to) have the light of Jesus shine through
me like a bright star. After all. He is the Bright and Morning Star.
The little mirrored discs were easy – my life needs to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and everything that glorifies Him, even as a polished shiny mirror reflects an image. The hearts with the quilt design brought to my mind the way we are fit together in love, as in our family relationships, friendships, and our chosen church families. Each piece of a quilt is a special part – either in the place it fits into the pattern, or in the way the very piece itself represents a memory of someone or something. And each piece does fit perfectly into the quilt. The heart of love holds it all together.
The buttons I reluctantly put back represent the things I need to let go of They might be things I really do not want to give up, but which will divert my attention away from my goal of seeking God’s will and direction for my life. By letting go of those diversions, I am choosing to do the more important things that will have a more lasting benefit not only for my life, but even in the lives of people I interact with each day.
It was taught to me very early in my Christian life, that God reveals things to us in many ways, using various situations. Though I am aware of this, it was very moving
and exciting that the Lord would speak to me through something as simple as buttons.
In reflecting back to my thorough search through that box I must consider the time I spend in prayer in relation to the amount of time I need to pray. The Lord was speaking to me about the importance of being connected to Him; showing me the need for searching – digging, if you will – out the treasures He has for me in prayer.
How much time is spent frivolously each day that could be used in a more productive way, in as simple an act as seeking His will for lasting treasure? How many more could be introduced to the Lord, to become a part of that quilt shaped by love – with Jesus mirrored in their lives – shining like the Bright and Morning Star, that same Jesus Christ, the Rose of Sharon?
The treasures revealed in the buttons can be found in the treasure of a daily prayer time. Prayer is simply the act of communing with our Creator, talking with Him and listening for His promptings, the results of which are a mixed bag of treasure. Often the peace that comes with calling out to God for a family member, friend or neighbor carries with it comfort and strength to carry on. There is a storehouse full of treasure available to those who take the time to pray for someone else.
While praying for the needs of others I might begin to be less self-centered. In praying for my neighbor I can perhaps learn to love my neighbor as I love myself.. [See Mark 10:2] None of this needs to be buried treasure, but if it is, all that is needed is a little effective digging. Treasure from heaven is the only treasure worth hunting for. Prayer is a treasure that gives deeper, more lasting satisfaction than anything, more than silver or gold – of pretty buttons.
The Bible – our letter from God – tells us how important that real treasure is…
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. Store them up in heaven where they will never loser their value, and are safe from thieves. If your profits are in heaven your heart will be there too. ” (Matthew 6:19-21)
This article “Digging For Treasure” written by Becky Schenk is excerpted from the Louisana Challenger A December 2007 edition.