I battle with this.
Not just for myself, which is obviously something most of us battle. "I'm a treasure? I'm worthy? I'm more valuable than ruby's and gold....?"
I battle with the reality that my enemies; those that cause me harm, and devastate me, they are a treasure.
We all are.
Sunday I drove to a church to hide in the sea of people that swam in from all directions of a massive parking lot, and a plethora of hallways and entryways. I drove to church to hide and to hear. To rest and to worship.
"Lord, I know you have something to say to me. I want to hear You."
Over the past few weeks I had been struggling on a minute by minute basis with judgement. With hate. With a repulsive taste on the end of my tongue. I'd been struggling to STOP the woe-is-me self pity party that tried to sneak into my mind. Struggling with keeping in check with what I know for sure; despite how the outer surface appears, what is happening in my life is a GIFT. It's NOT a shame. It's not pitiful. It's not "bless your heart, you poor thing." It's GOD, in action, doing what HE has to do, to get my attention, to work a miracle in my life, to speak gently and lovingly into my brokenness.
I was already sort of prepared for the message. God's sweet like that. He prepares me way-ahead-of-time for stuff. He knows I'm a big baby, and slightly A.D.D., so He does a lot of prep work in my heart when He really wants me to "get it".
What sunk in deep, and I mean DEEP into my Spirit was this Word from Dr. Mark Rutland:
"Jesus sees us when we are UNDER THE GROUND. We are so covered in dirt, and shame, and addiction, and bitterness.... we're just FILTHY. We are FILTHY!!! And we KNOW how messed up we are, and we're down on the ground, just wallowing in our mess.
And you know what Jesus does? He looks down at us, and looks back at the Angels in heaven, and He proclaims "LOOK!!! There! Look there! Do you see that TREASURE? Can you see it?!?!"
Dr. Rutland hilariously offered a monologue of what he imagined the angels were saying "That? What's He looking at? That filth? That junk? How is that a treasure?" But Jesus sees beyond the filth. He KNOWS what He's found! And HE IS EXCITED!
And when we're down, on the ground, just sick of ourselves, and just disgusted with our failures... JESUS is standing above us, cheering us on "COME ON! YOU CAN DO IT! I know you can. Get up! GET UP! Whooo HOOOO!! I believe in you! I know you can do it!!!"
When the world has treated us like we're worthless, and we have been convinced by those around us, and by our own free thinking, that we are worthless, JESUS jumps in excitement and joy, and elation... "LOOK AT HOW VALUABLE THIS TREASURE IS!!!"
And deep, deep inside my spirit, I felt a HOLY call to see inside the pit, and see past the filth, and the disgusting, and KNOW that, even those that have caused me unbearable pain, THEY are a treasure.
I cannot hate, or judge, or allow bitterness to set in, when I myself am buried in the dirt, covered in filth, and grime, and my Savior calls MY NAME, my Savior calls ME His treasure.
Jonah was a profit... (woo wooo) but he never really got it... (sad but true)...
I always think of Veggie Tales when I refer to Jonah.
Here's this godly man, sent out to do a task, and speak God's judgement over a people.
He fully expceted these people to just get obliterated.
And that goof-ball literally WHINED when those people TURNED from their wicked ways, and sought after the One True God.
Jonah sat on a cliff that overlooked this EVIL CITY, just waiting for God to smite them.
He sat, and he judged. And he pouted.
I imagine that all the while, Jesus is in heaven saying "NO! Wait! There's TREASURE in that city! There's treasure there!" God had mercy. Jonah had done what God told him to do; deliver a message from The Lord... and tell these people to STOP!!!! Stop. Doing. What. You're. DOING!
And those people STOPPED.
Yet, Jonah was resentful of that?
I think, (And I'm not Bible Scholar) that in that city, something bad must have happened to Jonah. I think in some way, he was wounded and hurt, and just wanted to "see those people pay!".
Even in his wrongful thinking God still blessed Jonah with a covering. (Shade from the sun).
So, my spirit is screaming "PRAY! But don't judge. Pray that the treasure doesn't bury itself deeper. Pray that YOUR HEART doesn't allow room for bitterness. Replace that bitterness with LOVE (in the Spirit).
We are all a treasure. A buried treasure that GOD WANTS. A treasure that Jesus sees!
Those that have caused me harm are A TREASURE. And my job is to pray, to love, and to keep healthy boundaries in plcee so that the hurt isn't allowed to continue.
10 months ago