My husband and I spent a few days at the beach this past weekend. It was so relaxing to watch the sun come up each morning and walk along the shore collecting shells. Like most of you who live around here, I’ve been going to the beach all my life. We had a house there for most of my childhood, and my father lived there since I was twelve. As an adult, we only get down there a few times a year now. But I noticed something unusual on this trip.
The first thing that caught my eye was the huge barge offshore. I had never seen one before and became curious. It looked like something from Deadliest Catch, but I have never seen anything like that in our area. As Kenneth and I began to stroll and look for shells, I was amazed at what I was finding. Pieces of shells that were an inch thick, broken, but obviously part of something tremendous at one time.
Then I began to see perfectly formed shells such as I’ve never seen before. I have always enjoyed collecting shells and taking them home to remind me of my time at the beach. But I have never found so many beautiful, unique shells at one time.
I began praying, “Lord, show me the treasures hidden in the sand. Give me eyes to see the beautiful specimens on this beach.”
I heard the Lord whisper in my heart, “I will show you great and unsearchable things you do not know. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. As you dig as for hidden treasure, you will rejoice as one finding great spoil. Treasure awaits as you find your greatest treasure in Me.”
As Kenneth and I continued along the shore, I found two sea urchins, numerous whelks, lettered olives, banded tulips, and smooth snail shells. I kept grinning at Kenneth saying, “Treasure!!”
Finally, I stopped a fisherman and asked about the barges offshore. He said it’s the Beach Renourishment Project. They are dredging sand from the sea floor and pumping 1.4 million cubic yards back onshore to renourish the beaches from the storms. It’s a project they do every ten years or so to protect our beaches.
What the storms destroyed was being restored and bringing beauty for all to see!
nourish: to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, promote
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my desire for God’s Word needed renourishment too.
I have a devotional, a Bible study, and a book I’m reading, and in this one weekend all three of them referred to digging into the Scriptures for hidden treasures. When God wants to say something, He can speak loud and clear.
To be honest, I’ve just gotten a little weary of Bible study lately. I felt like I was just rushing through to get it done and not really getting anything out of it. It seemed more like a chore than a thrill–something to be endured rather than something to be enjoyed.
But God began bringing all these Scriptures to mind, reminding me that His Word is my greatest treasure.
So, if your Bible reading needs a little renourishment, here are three principles that God used to bring back my passion for His Word.
Understand there’s always so much more to God.
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3, NIV 84).
Paul was encouraging the Colossians to keep searching the Scriptures for true knowledge so that they wouldn’t be led astray by false doctrine. He wanted them to have complete understanding of the treasure to be found in Christ.
We could study the Word 24/7/365 for the rest of our natural lives on earth and still not uncover all the depths and riches of who He is. He speaks to us through His Word and reveals truths that we can meditate on, memorize, and apply to our lives in different ways depending upon the season of life we are in.
God’s Word never changes. But we change. We grow and we experience and we learn and we understand and we process things differently over time. A Scripture that had little meaning to us five years ago may be a revelation to us now. Treasure!
There are few things in life that compare to the wonder and thrill of discovery. Every time my eyes caught another amazing specimen of God’s beauty dredged up from the ocean floor, I felt the excitement of holding in my hand a treasure from the depths of the sea.
“I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).
Can you imagine going on a treasure hunt and discovering gold, silver, or precious gems? If we knew a great treasure lay beneath the ground in our backyard, we would dig and dig until we discovered that treasure.
God wants us to search His Word like hidden treasure.
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).
The more we dig into God’s Word, the more treasures of wisdom and understanding He will show us, just as He showed me those shells on the beach. The more I looked, the more excited I became. That’s how He wants us to approach His Word.
Even when what we read convicts, when it hurts, when it corrects, it is still bringing life and wisdom to our hearts. And what we treasure most is what our hearts will continue to chase after.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
God wants us to treasure His Word more than the world.
What we search after, what we value, what brings us a thrill–these reveal what is in our hearts. We can chase after the things of the world, value material possessions or worldly gain. We can get a thrill from sports and entertainment. But none of those things are real treasure. They are like those elusive shells that got washed away by the tide before I could pick them up–right out of reach, easily lost.
“Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2).
Only the righteousness that comes by faith in God’s Word will sustain us into the next life. That’s why Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to treasure.
“‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46).
When we come to the place in our Christian walk that we realize what a treasure we have in God’s Word, we will no longer be satisfied with what the world offers. We’ll be willing to give up sleep, television, and social media to spend time with God. We’ll realize that the excitement of a ballgame is nothing compared to the thrill of discovering valuable truth in the Scripture.
So, what about you? Maybe like the recent storms, life has destroyed some of the joy and excitement you once had for studying God’s Word. Maybe like the beach renourishment project, you need to dredge up some promises and have them pumped back into your heart, bringing life and growth.
Let’s commit ourselves together to dig into the Word and ask God to renourish our hearts with the thrill of discovery in His Word. There’s so much truth to be found. Treasure!!