Mining for that Which is Mine
“So that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;” -Acts 17:27
My usual pattern of Bible reading includes recording what God has spoken to me from His word for each particular day. Not only does this help me search for and grab hold of the gems of truth strewn throughout the passages I’m reading (so that I don’t emerge empty handed or empty headed), but it also enables me to retrace my previous visits and look back over the jewels that have formerly been extracted. Today, I did just that. I went back and riffled through the pages of my “exhibit book” and was astounded by the collection of truths that God had revealed and which I had, unfortunately, too quickly shelved. How I wish I could keep everything displayed in a place of prominence; well lit and never in need of dusting off! But, since I apparently have limited storage space…and not a sound enough mental support beam to allow for expansion…I will rely upon past documentation to remind me of what I have previously learned and should continually know.
My first stop, I’ll call Exhibit A, brought to light the truth about God’s speed in answering our requests. I found I’d often been digging for an answer to a recurring plea (“Lord, when will I understand what You are doing? When will this lesson pass?”) and, even though I still find myself returning to this same dig site, I saw that I had already documented the truths God had unearthed to these petitions. I revisited the gems embedded in these verses:
- 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you…
- Psalm 25:12 – …him shall He teach in the way He chooses…
- Isaiah 54:7 – For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you…
After reading these recorded passages, I was again reminded of God’s promises to me. While I had thought it was taking God an awfully long time to show me His plan, I was reminded of the difference between slow and deliberate. God is not slow in His handling of situations but, quite differently, He is deliberate in His methods. He will accomplish what He has determined according to His timetable and in the manner He chooses. It may seem like an eternity on my end, but for God it is no more than a mere moment and always according to His lesson plans.
My next stop, Exhibit B, brought me face to face with another truth: God sees me as both done…and undone; He will complete that which has begun. While I cast my eyes from place to place, God keeps His eye on me. While I look at what is in disarray, God is purposely putting things in order.
- Psalm 33:18 – Now the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him– those who depend on His faithful love.
- Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
- Isaiah 42:16 – “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know…I will make darkness into light…these are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.”
My third stop brought me to a retrieved nugget about messes. In Acts 15:39, I had underlined, “Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another.” This verse is referring to the dispute between Paul and Barnabas which resulted in one team of four becoming two teams of two. The truth God had revealed here was that He can turn messes into messages. While the division seemed, well…divisive, God used it to increase the area in which His word was preached. Rather than four people traveling together to spread the gospel, God used man’s mess to create two teams that covered twice the distance. In my “exhibit book”, I documented this find as follows:
“God uses our messes to further proclaim His message. Mess + age (time) = Message! Our message is formed when God places our mess upon His timetable and creates something new…still with a part of me, but seasoned and reshaped by His hands so it now has His flavor and His form.”
Now that’s an artifact worth revisiting! How insightful! I couldn’t have gotten that apart from God taking me to the excavation site, placing the pick in my hand, and saying “Strike here!” What a gem to uncover; what a truth to retrieve; what a travesty to forget! May I always remember that even when I mess up God is at work creating something that is not only usable, but purposeful and profitable.
So there you have it. My visit to the warehouse of stored gems brought me to the artifacts that reminded me of God’s timing, of His watchfulness, and of His resourcefulness. Each truth was excavated from the quarry of God’s word, having been tucked away by the Father, unearthed by the Son, and explained by the Holy Spirit. How wonderful it is to know that not only can I expect to uncover nuggets of truth each time I go to God’s word, but I can also rediscover them each time I go to my notebook! What a limitless God I serve and with such a limited mind as mine. In light of the remembrance of my forgetfulness, I will continue with the practice of writing down that which God has revealed to me. And, while I feel remorse over the realization that I had already forgotten some of these truths, I take solace in knowing that, true to my nature, I will soon forget that I forgot!