Do you know there are still hidden treasures in this world waiting to be found? A quick search on the internet will pull up several real-life treasure adventures. There are people that dedicate their lives to this wonderful exciting adventure searching for unveiled treasures such as gold, jewelry, metals, coins, watches, antique arrowheads, and valuable documents just to name a few. But did you know there are hidden treasures in the bible waiting to be found?
God has a treasure chest full of insight, knowledge, and wisdom and hidden gems waiting for you and me to uncover. He wants to reveal what the world does not know. He wants us to experience a beautiful supernatural encounter with Him.
Just like finding treasures on this earth, finding the hidden treasures of God can be done but it takes the determination of a true explorer! To maximize your quest, you will need the right tools. The two main tools on this journey are the bible and prayer. Then, before starting this adventure, you have to decide how far you are willing to go. Are you willing to go the distance to discover treasures that God has waiting for you to uncover in His word?
Prayer. When I think of the word prayer instantly I am taken back to the memory of my little loft bedroom late one night in my mid 20's. There I was all alone sitting up in my bed three floors up with my blanket up to my waist. It was a small and simple room. Nothing fancy. This room reminded me of the many times I played in the trees as a young girl. It was like a tree house. My bedroom was nestled near the branches of the oak tree in the courtyard. Every night I lay in bed gazing out the window at the branches and leaves lit up by the night lights until I fell asleep. But this evening was different. I was restless. I was dissatisfied and unhappy with myself and my life. I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior when I was 7 years old but as a teenager and young adult, I walked away from God. For the first time in a very long time I looked at what I had become as a young adult. The road to become a social worker was behind me. I even worked a short time as a foster care worker right out of college but quickly lost interest and quit my job. And now a couple years later I sat and wondered what happened to the desire inside of me to change the world, to help the hurting? I hadn't thought about the hurting for some time now. Actually I was so consumed with me that I hadn't noticed the pain of others around me. But tonight! Something inside of me welled up and I thought there had to be more. I believed I was born for a purpose to make a difference in this world but somewhere along the way I let that desire fade away. Tonight it would change. "Lord, I have made a mess of my life. If you can do better take it, take my life, Lord! It is yours!" That night the peace of God fell upon me. Something had happened. That night God entered my life and touched my heart. Something in me changed!
Prayer. A cry for help. A proclamation of hope. A place to empty all of me and receive all of Him.
Who can really live fully for Christ and live that Christ life and not pray or surrender it all to Him? If we are to walk out the call on our life and change the world around us; if we are to make disciples of others, heal the sick and set the captives free then prayer, communication with God, and surrender must be part of our life.
Since that night I cried out to God, He has been faithful to take me on a journey and reveal His deep secrets that He has for me. He has put me on a path of purpose that I never could have fully imagined for my life. I believe the same is true for you! God has some unveiled treasures available for you!
YOUR TURN: (You are more than welcome to share in the comment section or just leave it between you and God.
What is the first memory or significant memory you have of a prayer encounter with the Lord?
The world cannot teach us the deep secrets of God; so how will we learn them? In 1 Corinthians 2: 1-16. (verse 10, 11, 12), we see that we receive the Spirit of God so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God by words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words. Then in verse 14 it states, the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God.
Take time to pray today, thank Him, praise Him, and recommit your life and calling to Him. Ask Him to infill you with His Spirit. God wants you to go deeper with Him. He wants His Spirit to reveal His truths to you.
I am happy to see my friends, Beth and Jason Forbus, launch Sarah's Laughter Infertility Podcast! They are a couple who truly understands what you are walking through and provide much needed hope for you while on this journey!
You can also check out their website, Sarahs-Laughter's, for support groups in your area and all the new and exciting things they have planned in 2016.
Balance. What does it mean to get balance? The definition of balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
When we get balance we remain upright when a storm approaches, when instability comes our way. We stay in a steady position and we do not fall; but how do we get “balance” in a busy life with the many hats we wear as a wife, as a mother? Can we really and truly get balance?
For the woman who is a single Mom, can she get balance when her children are raised with two parents who have total opposite ways they parent? Can she get balance while in custody battles? Can she get balance when her bills are behind and the next month bills are in the mail?
For the woman married, can she get balance as she tries to meet the needs of her husband, children, and the home responsibilities?
What about the woman who is fostering or has adopted, can she get balance in raising children who need lots of love and discipline to undo what was taught or not taught to them?
Getting balance goes beyond having our meals prepared, our home tidied up, and our routines in place. We can have a meal prepared and ready for our family, home spotless, the laundry caught up, and routines written on the wall but these will provide temporary balance; balance for the moment. Storms still come and sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed with being unbalanced even though our world looks balanced. Right? But God wants you to experience balance when your world shakes, when instability steps in.
When we look at The Parable of the Sower of the Seed in Matthew 13:3-9, Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Matthew 13: 18-23, “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Jesus mentions four kinds of grounds a seed can get planted in. The Hard path: it’s a worn out path, a packed down hard, tough, firm path. It’s a path with unfenced fields. There are no signs of growth on this path, no plants, no flowers, nothing too pretty on this hard dirt path. If seeds fall they can get eaten by birds.
The Rocky ground: you don’t see much dirt here. There are some plants that can grow on rocks but they don’t live too long. Plants must have roots down in the soil to grow and flourish but the rocks block the roots. If seeds root it’s shallow and quickly get scorched by the sun and die.
The Thorny ground: Now the thorny ground has soil but as the seeds grow into plants along with the thorns the thorns eventually take over and choke the plants. This is true for weeds as well. Because there is soil, the weeds are also able to root in the soil and grow along as the seeds grow into plants but eventually the weeds take over and smother the plants. So this is a place seeds can grow but they grow with stuff that can eventually choke and smother them.
The GOOD ground: this is the fertile ground, the rich, abundant soil. It’s a place a seed can grow, flourish, mature.
In this parable, the good ground/soil represents the condition of our heart and how we receive the word of God which is represented by the seed. For this teaching, we are going to see the seed as our children and the ground/soil as the heart of our homes. The principle is the same. The answer to getting balance in our busy lives lies is the last of the four soils….. GOOD GROUND. We develop and create this beautiful raised garden bed in our home if we want to get real balance in our busy lives. Not the hard dirt path, the one where there are no fences, the one we trample about our home but don’t really pay any attention to what we are doing. We just do life and we do it hard. We go about our day on auto pilot. We know what we have to get done and we do that and move on. The home with the hard dirt path is really not a “home” atmosphere. It’s just a place where we eat, drink, sleep, pass each other up in the hall with not much communication. Not many memories being made. Just people getting through the day.
We will not get balance with rocky or thorny ground in our home. A small amount of soil exists. A small amount of bible knowledge exists. Just enough knowledge of a small portion of what God has said because church is not a priority, God’s word is not a priority, we may go to church but only a few times a year like Easter or Christmas or maybe we heard about Jesus but don’t know He is the Savior of the world, that He died for our sins, rose and conquered death so that sin cannot take dominion over us. We have possibly heard of Jesus but old habits continue, bad behaviors persist, rebellious attitudes direct their steps, anger and frustration lives on the rocky, thorny ground. Bitterness dominates us. Pain follows us wherever we go. You will not get balance with this type of ground in your home.
What do you notice about the picture of the raised garden bed above? It’s beautiful with no hard dirt, rocks, thorns, or weeds. Its plants have room to grow and flower. It has a frame around it; it has boundaries.
If GOOD ground is how to get balance in our busy life, then how do we create good ground in our home?
First, we have to PREPARE. We have to prepare our hearts by going before the Lord in prayer. We can bow our knee to Him and say “Search me, O God, and know my heart; know my ways; test my thoughts. Show me where I am not creating good ground. Lead me along the path you have for me.” We prepare our home. We need to take the bible off the shelf and not just place it on the table to see it every day, but to open it and read it.
Second, we START BUILDING. We establish boundaries; dividing lines that protect and keep our children and us safe. We cannot do that unless we know God’s boundaries and where He tells us to draw the line. This is where we make the tough parenting decisions to limit tv shows and certain songs, establish limits in relationships with others for our families.
Third, we PLOW. We start digging deep, turning over the dirt with each dig. This has to be done before sowing. This is where we prepare the soil for planting. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that once the frame is up you can now plant the seeds in your raise garden bed. Not yet. Take the time to plow that soil right. Take scriptures and speak it over your home. God’s word goes forth to accomplish what it is supposed to accomplish. It does not return void. How can His word do this if we are not speaking forth His word? How can we speak forth His word if we are not opening up the bible to see what His word says? Part of getting that rich soil is mixing in God’s word. And for most of us, as we plow we will uproot some old thorns and weeds, old mindsets and behaviors, and maybe uncover some rocks, some hard stubborn attitudes . Just go ahead and pull them up and get rid of them. They have no place in your raised garden bed.
Fourth, we PLANT those seeds. But some of you might be saying, “my children are a little older. They are already planted in rocky, thorny ground.” That’s ok you’ll just need to transplant them into the GOOD ground you are creating. You know how transplanted plants are at first? They are taken from where they were and placed in rich fertile soil and at first they droop a little almost like they don’t like this new rich fertile soil but over a little while they start to perk up because their little roots have started to go down into this rich soil. Their little leaves start to stretch out. The top of their little head starts to rise up. They realize the sun and the soil and the water is life to them. This is our God and His word for us! This is where balance is starting to happen, the plant is steady and upright. His/her roots are slowly going deeper so when a storm or instability comes this little plant will not fall because he/she is planted in GOOD ground. It’s where your children have strong roots going deep. It’s where they do not fall when storms come, when instability comes their way.
Fifth, we TEND TO IT. Sometimes we are excited to start a new project. We have lots of energy and enthusiasm. But when the project looks more like work many give up. Can I encourage you not to give up with this part of the process, with the “the tend to it” because your rewards will be great! This IS where relationships are strengthened. This is where we renew our mind with the word continually. We learn to rest and stop spinning all the unnecessary plates in our life. The enemy would love nothing more than for you to have lots of plates to keep spinning instead of tending to what’s the most important: your family. Take time to pause, take moments to observe your raised garden bed. Use these times to also give attention to your husband and children.
Those moments on the couch, those moments before bedtime, these are times to pour into our children making sure no rocks or thorns have come in, and if we see they have we ask God how to remove them and then remove them immediately before they take root in our raised garden bed.
After we have prepared, built, plowed, planted and tended to our raised bed garden, tended to the ground in our home, we then witness true balance when we see our children making the right decisions when the parents are not around. We witness true balance when a storm does come and try to shake us but our family doesn’t fall apart because we are upright and in a steady position. Because we are balanced the way God intended for us to be balanced.
What if the ground in your home is one of the other grounds and not the GOOD GROUND? Be encouraged, it is never too late to change the ground in your home. God is a loving Father. His voice is gentle. He will not yell at you to get you to change or condemn you for starting now. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, meets you where you are and gently takes your hand and guides you and leads you. With Him, the ground in your home can change. You can experience true balance in your busy life!
In the meantime, g0t a good crockpot recipe? I need a meal for tomorrow ;)
Hello and Welcome!
Wife, Mother, Adoption Advocate, Writer, Illustrator
Who am I? Galatians 2:20 does a great job of summing up who I am. My life is His, the One who loves me and gave Himself for me . In return, I want to be all He wants me to be and do all He wants me to do on this side of Heaven.
Recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award 2016. A program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C.