Welcome to our first Tuesday Treasures!
Thank you for sharing your treasured memories, relationships and possessions with us last week. It was an honor to learn about what holds real value in your lives.
“Lord, I don’t know how I can handle this. Please give me a Bible verse to hold on to.”
I whispered this prayer in the back seat of our van as we headed out of the city. John Mark sat in the front seat as Mark drove us home from Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Just an hour earlier we were told that JM would need surgery to correct a heart aneurysm. We were in shock.
So, I prayed. No sooner had I sent that request then a car passed in front of us. The car’s license plate read GODWTHUS. God with us. Amazed at what I had just seen, I took that as an answer to my prayer. He was with us!
John 19:25 tells us “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother…” along with several others who knew Him. Mary stood watching her son suffer on the cross, bleeding, dying.
What kept her there? How could she stand watching her son suffer like that? What was she holding onto that kept her upright?
This is the spot where our treasure hunt begins for us these next six weeks. Like Mary, how are we able to stand when difficulties come our way? What keeps us standing when God allows us to go through circumstances that we may think we can’t handle?
I can only imagine that Mary was able to stand there because she had a few treasures stored up in her heart that helped give her a perspective on what was happening.
This brings us to the first treasure I believe she pondered. They were the very first words spoken to her by the angel Gabriel. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary knew she was highly favored because God told her she was, and He said He was with her and she believed Him. He knew her! He knew all about her. He was there with her and would continue to be, even when she was standing at the foot of the cross.
How do you know that God is with you? Has He ever told you so? Maybe the angel Gabriel didn’t come into your kitchen while you were making sandwiches one afternoon and deliver that message to you but has something happened that let you know that this is true for you, just as it was true for Mary?
So, our first treasure to uncover is this: Has there been a time in your life when you knew that God was with you? Did an event happen to you that reinforced this fact? Is there a special Bible verse that is precious to you and reminds you of something God made real to you during a challenging time in your life?
My first treasure is a Bible verse that I read over and over again during that difficult time of JM’s surgery and recovery. I turned to this verse when I needed to be reminded that God was with us.
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
(By the way, if you want to read more about JM’s heart surgery you can read more about it here and here.)
I look forward to hearing about your first treasure!