I was recently listening to a short video by Paul Scanlon where he speaks about the gift hidden in all of this (referring to this current season) that no one can see because the wrapping is so horrendous.
Shortly after listening to this YouTube clip; I was taking a walk around our neighbourhood. As I walked past house after house, I realised how many people are currently either cleaning up their yard or renovating their gardens. It actually brought a smile to my face, as it wasn’t the norm. It is amazing to see how we have mistakenly neglected the home front in the pursuit of life; or overlooked it as other things vied for our attention.
I even read of a woman who took her child for a walk down her street and coincidentally stumbled across some delicious tasting berries (don’t worry they were okay to eat). The very next day she was playing with her children in the backyard—because that’s what you do now, and she noticed amongst the shrubs and weeds that she had the exact same tree producing these hidden treasures in her very own backyard.
Finding the gifts
I have seen photographers begin to document human life as it stands. All with the intent to continue to place dignity on humanity at a time when it is needed most. I have seen pictures of intensive care nurses looking exacerbated post night shift at home holding their little children. I have seen expecting mothers pictured standing there staring out their loungeroom window as they eagerly and nervously anticipate the arrival of their new child. The reality and vulnerability shown is moving to say the least. This is a gift all within itself, to bring healing and perspective to others.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 13 Jesus speaks about two parables, one of a hidden treasure and the other a pearl. He refers to the kingdom of heaven like it is treasure hidden in a field. When a man finds it, he hides it in the field. He then goes and sells all he has to purchase the entire field.
The treasure is hidden, and the man sells of all of his possessions to possess it. Some say that the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are hidden from some who are unable to hear, see and comprehend the truth. Only those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart of understanding will comprehend the Kingdom’s great value—those to whom the Spirit reveals it. The Kingdom of heaven is beautiful.
The greatest treasure
In the next parable regarding the pearl the merchant actually stops searching for pearls as he had found the pearl of great price—Jesus Christ. He is the one who fulfils our greatest of needs and deepest of longings. The One who makes us clean, spiritually speaking, and gives us peace and hope for a future.
Out of all things that we could have found or rediscovered in this season; the greatest treasure is Jesus Christ.
When I asked a young man this week what had God been speaking to him, he responded, “I have been learning to trust Jesus more.” Another person responded that they had been meditating on His faithfulness in times past to encourage them today.
What hidden treasures will we find in this season? What is this gift in all of this?
Elise Pappas is a Pastor and together with her husband pastor a church on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They have a son, Jonathan and a daughter, Sophie. Elise is a former clinical drug trial research coordinator and business owner. She writes about life and ministry experiences.