The Treasure Box

It never ceases to amaze me the ways that God uses to speak very profound truths into my life. This month my sweet 16 year old autistic friend Brady stood with his mom and older brother at the graveside of his father. His mother wasn’t quite sure what his concept of death would be nor how he would react to it all.

Several nights before this Brady had prayed aloud with his family and his paternal grandparents telling the Lord how very sad they all were that his dad had died. This……from a child who came from a place where he could not speak. Over time and with much help from his mom and professionals, Brady has blossomed and developed into this sweet young man who not only speaks, but is able to express his emotions. His heart is BIG for others. His smile lights up a room. He “gets” things that others don’t “get”. A precious jewel God sent into this world to teach those around him so many unexpected truths.

As the casket was being lowered into the ground, Brady looked at his mom and said, “Is that the treasure box? Are they burying the treasure box?” Mom’s answer was “Yes“. When she shared that with me, an arrow immediately struck me in the heart. I knew there was a deep truth from God here. I began to mull over what Brady asked and this morning the answer came.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” II Corinthians 4:7

Earthen vessels were clay jars fashioned by skilled potters who would take a lump of clay, shape it, mold it, and bake it until it was hard. Those jars were then painted, glazed and decorated for whatever purpose the potter had planned for it. Many jars had sacred scrolls or valuable documents that were rolled up and hidden inside.

Our bodies are temporary housing places for the treasure of the light of the rich truth of the gospel that displays the glory of God. When our earthly body is laid inside the casket, that casket becomes the box that holds the vessel that housed that treasure. That casket becomes a Treasure Box holding our physical bodies that will one day be resurrected to become glorified bodies if we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior.

Never again will I look at a casket the same way. Hereafter I will call it a Treasure Box.

Thank you, Brady, for being exactly who God made you to be and for revealing a new truth to comfort my heart.

brady-brenda-taylor(Brady on the left looking down at his mom standing next to his big brother at the graveside of their dad)

THE GIFT OF EMOTIONS

“All of our emotions are gifts from God to help us process everything we experience. Emotions are also a big part of what makes you amazing. They allow you to respond to life in deeply personal ways.”-Holly Gerth

Gideon was a man who was not afraid to question God. In Judges 6:12-13 God came to him and greeted him as a mighty warrior. God also told Gideon that He was with him. Gideon’s response sounds so much like what mine has been many times, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” In fact, Gideon went even further than that and told God that He had abandoned him.

As you read on in Judges chapter 6 you can see that after God revealed His plan for Gideon, Gideon told God that he was weak and a nobody. This plan was a hard one that filled him with much fear, uncertainty and even disbelief. In other words, Gideon said, “You are asking too much of me, God. There’s no way I can do this! I want to keep my life the way it was.” How many times have you found yourself thinking or even saying, “I want my life back!”

As God’s plan unfolded and time went on, there was a point where Gideon became so exhausted that he did not think he could go on. When he asked for help from others, they turned their backs on him and refused to give him and his small band of 300 men what they needed most to strengthen them in their journey.

During that season of life when Gideon was taking one step at a time, not only did God understand all of the emotions that he was experiencing, but He did not hold those feelings of worthlessness, weakness, worry, anxiety and even panic against Gideon. God guided Gideon through that whole process when it looked like it was impossible to walk through it much less come through it unscathed.

I could not help but draw a parallel of all the emotions that Gideon experienced to all the emotions that I as a widow have experienced and continue to experience. And it encourages me that God is not holding them against me or throwing up His hands in utter disgust. He continues to walk alongside me moment by moment bringing stories like Gideon’s to mind in order to show me that He understands my human frailties. God uses Gideon’s life to show me that I do not have to be afraid to question Him and ask for His reassurances more than once after He has answered. The dialogue that took place between Gideon reassures me and gives me “a shot in the arm” to keep pushing steadily forward in my own hard season of life.

How about you? Have you felt guilty about your emotions and all the things that you are feeling? Do you feel like your emotions are displeasing to God? Is there someone past or present whose life has encouraged you to keep going?