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Treasure in Unexpected Places

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord and have summoned you by name”


(Isaiah 45:3 TNIV)




There are few things which ignite my joy like nature. Watching the sea, bracing the windy, rugged landscapes of Britain, or walking its rolling, sheep-dotted pastures. And although I love warmth, somehow I sense that the British Isles come into their own in the winter. There, when the trees are robbed off their leaves to open endless horizons, and the sky is white-ish pink and pregnant with snow, these northern isles take on a haunting charm. It may be barren, hard and cold, but my, is it beautiful.


The thought of such beauty in winter chimes with Biblical lessons: that treasure is found in unexpected places, often buried in our hard and barren paths or coming through someone we thought least likely. God reminded me of such truths as I glimpsed the distant dome of St Paul’s Cathedral through the cleared, wintery vistas of the steep streets surrounding home; that winter times lay bare new treasure.


Isaiah 45:3 talks about “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” as God uses a heathen King to accomplish his purposes for Israel. The life of Jesus presents the most potent emblems of treasure in unexpected places: the King of kings born in a lowly stable, the victory of Christ’s resurrection accomplished through the seeming defeat of death. As we voyage from Easter to Pentecost, we might consider the travellers on the road to Emmaus who could not perceive the immense treasure present in their overwhelming disappointment until Jesus spoke (see Luke 24:13-35). Likewise, we also must bring our hard places to God and look to him both to renew and open our minds to his purposes.


Are you in a place where it is difficult to see the treasure? Where life is dark and the days as empty and cold as winter? Maybe there is bereavement, failing finances, shifting relationships, dying dreams or some other circumstance or emotion troubling your heart and mind. Such times are undeniably hard, yet Jesus repeatedly tells us to fear not. Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to your current season, to offer a glimpse of what he is working out through the situations we resist or which cause us pain. And be open to whom he might use.


Summer's gifts are easy to perceive, but winter strips back those summer blooms to yield a quite different but compelling perspective. It may require more attention to find winter’s jewels, but through that additional care and by adapting our lens, we discover that, like the robin perched on the icy bush, "riches are stored in secret places".


For further reading: Genesis 50:20; John 16:33; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.


Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2021

Scripture quotations taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, TODAY’S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 2004 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a division of Hodder Headline ltd. All rights reserved. “TNIV” is a registered trademark of International Bible Society.





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Dear Readers, thanks for checking in. As we travel from Easter towards Pentecost, we might consider the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, whose crushing disappointment obscured the immense victory in their very midst.

We also fail to see the treasure present in the winter seasons of our lives - unless and until we invite Jesus to join us there and open our eyes. What's your view?

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