My mother could not spend a day at any beach without walking a mile to search for shells. And if they were a particular kind, they didn’t even have to be colorful! Just mostly unbroken. Her eye was drawn especially to scallop shells. I never asked her why she liked them so much, but she could never leave one on the beach!
After she died, I was going through boxes of her things that she had moved from New Jersey to Colorado and then on to Virginia. I found jars and jars and jars of all shapes and sizes packed full of scallop shells. There were a few jars of other various kinds, but scallops outnumbered all the rest. If she saw one, she just had to take it home with her!
I found this shell last month walking the dog on the beach. A little reminder of Mom, peeking up at me from the sand!
Her search for scallop shells should be an example of how we search the Scriptures for treasure of our own.
First of all, if you want to find seashells, the cornfields of Nebraska are not the place to be looking. The best place to find seashells is by the sea! If you’re looking for biblical treasure, I place my bets on finding more in your Bible than on the internet, the radio, or the TV. Take out your Bible, and start reading! You’ve got to be in the right place to find treasure.
Mom loved the search, but she wasn’t silly enough to be out in a thunderstorm, trying to see through the wind and rain. If you’re searching the Scriptures for treasure, the environment around you needs to be right. Is the TV or radio on? Turn it off! Are the munchkins loudly running around, getting underfoot, or trying to wrestle you down? Maybe you could try setting your alarm a little earlier to find a more peaceful time of day to focus. Make it your special “God and Coffee” time! Find a time and place that works best for you to not be distracted by what’s going on around you.
Are you expecting to find treasure within five or ten minutes? Not Mom. She’d spend some serious time on her treasure hunts. In our crazy rat race world, it seems that time is one of our most precious resources. But as a resource, we choose how to spend it! Matthew tells us two parables Jesus told about treasure:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:44-46 NLT)
These two men spent all they had to own the treasure they found! If time is a resource, most of us waste more of it than we realize on frivolous, useless activities. So you reached a new level on that computer game? Yippee. What have you really gained? Nothing. We all get 24 hours each day. Is it possible that some of that time could be put to better use searching for eternal treasure?
Once you find a gem, what do you do with it? You add it to your collection! Mom kept her beach treasures in jars, but we keep eternal truths in our hearts. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) Work on beginning or adding to a list of verses that you memorize. I can’t tell you the best way to memorize Scripture verses, that’s different for everyone. For me, once I choose a verse to memorize, I hand write it out once a day until I can say it without looking. It helps me to see it in my mind. That might not work for you! Whatever way you choose, your reward will be worth the effort.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
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