Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
“…if you indeed cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures - then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” -Proverbs 2:3-5
I’m sure you’ve seen the depictions of folks who had headed west during, what has now come to be known as, “The Gold Rush.” They packed up what they could carry. They traveled hundreds of miles. Lived in sketchy mining camps. And then, to top it all off, did back-breaking labor for countless hours… all in the hope of uncovering a nugget. Just a few ounces of gold seemingly made all that sacrifice worthwhile.
I’d never criticize those miners. They were in search of something they believed would bring meaning, stability, and security to their lives. They risked it all for the quest.
I would never criticize those miners because, well… as the wise ones always say, “don’t throw stones (or nuggets, as it were) if you live in a glass house.
I realize, mining fills a significant portion of my life. Granted I’m not knee deep in some California stream, panning for gold. But there are times when I find myself surrounded by mountains of books. I’m constantly digging in them. Of course, I’m not searching for a few ounces of gold, but I am most certainly seeking treasure. I am most certainly mining for the next ingot of holy insight, or the next nugget of sacred knowledge. I crave it, long for it, it gets me up early and keeps me up late. “If you seek it like silver,” Proverbs says, I get that completely.
There is another difference… I can honestly say that I am not mining simply for my own benefit. No, I seek the wisdom of God for the joy, life, and assurance it brings me. But I also keep mining, because I am so very eager to share the riches that I am fortunate enough to unearth. In the sermons and the devotions, in the Bible studies and in the Sunday School classes… it’s in those settings the fruits of my most enjoyable labor are shared.
So, thank you… no, sincerely, thank you for sharing in that with me… because the treasures we are searching for are so much more valuable when they’re shared and not locked away for safe keeping.
If you’ve been mining for a while… keep digging, it’s always boom and never bust, when you’re seeking the wisdom of God. Yes, God’s providence and generosity are absolutely unparalleled, and it is absolutely everywhere we look.
Question for reflection: What bits of wisdom of you uncovered recently?
Yours in Christ,
Almighty and merciful God, you know the depths of our hearts. Tend to our guilt, our anxiety, and our insecurities. Assure us, once again, that in and through you we not only have peace, but the power and capacity to shape and change a weary world. Bless us in our every endeavor. We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.