I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).
Friend to Friend
God doesn’t waste any experience in our lives. Some experiences come by His design while others come as consequences of our actions, but they all come with His permission and are filtered through His fingers of love.
While vacationing in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, our family developed several traditions. One of those traditions was mining for gold.
The routine was always the same. After buying a bucket of muddy rocks, we were handed a mesh-bottomed tray and seated on a mud-covered stool in front of a wooden trough. Cold water rushed down from the mountain above, spilling over the trough’s sides all over us and our clothes.
We slowly filtered the bucket’s contents into the tray, placed the tray in the trough and allowed the rushing water to wash away the dirt, leaving only “precious gems.” To find the most valuable stones required patience and time … and more money. Our children were determined to stick with it until they found their priceless nuggets.
We can deal with our past in much the same way. We can take the junk of our past and filter it through God’s love until we find the priceless nugget of truth He has for us to learn. Jesus calls those nuggets “treasures” and “riches.”
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).
God has gone before us and buried a treasure or stored a rich truth in every trial. Some truths cannot be learned in the light.
In Romans 8:28 Paul assures us that God takes “all” things and makes them work together for our good. If this verse is true – and it is – then we need to challenge the defeats of our past, disarm them, and compel them to yield a seed of victory.
To uncover that seed of victory may require us to act, to step out in obedience. One tiny seed may not seem like much, but every seed is a small beginning filled with a great promise and potential. Never underestimate the power of one tiny seed. Even a broken seed can be redeemed by the love and mercy of God. And every one of us is in desperate need of God’s grace and mercy.
We are all born with a rebellious nature that feeds a natural “bent” toward selfish, wrong choices. When we come to Christ we receive a new nature that naturally desires to obey God. The result is internal civil war.
To win the war between the old and new natures we must constantly surrender to God, allowing Him to guide, direct, and empower us to live for Him.
I love how one man described his own war against sin. “It is like there are two dogs fighting within me, an old dog and a new dog. The one who will win is the one I feed the most.”
The old nature is fed by the world and encouraged to enjoy the sin it so freely offers. But God lovingly urges us to strengthen the new nature He has given us by reading and studying the Bible, by praying and spending time with other believers, and by serving Him.
Certain victory is ours when we constantly choose against the old nature and choose for the new while surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Father, my heart is broken, and I don’t understand what You are doing in my life. The darkness is filled with more questions than answers. And I don’t like it! But I love You, Lord, so I choose trust over fear and faith over doubt. Lord, please fill each broken place in my heart with Your peace and love. Today, I choose You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are you doing to feed your faith? Remember, you have an old nature at war with the new nature God gave you when you surrendered your life to Christ. The nature you feed the most will win that war.
More from the Girlfriends
One powerful way to feed your new nature is through prayer. But we have over-complicated prayer! In its purest form, it is talking with and listening to God. Most of us have the talking part down. The listening part – not so much! Need help?
Chairtime is a powerful book by Mary’s husband Dan who says, “It is the story of how I am learning to listen to God. It is a simple story of a simple man learning a life changing truth. God wants to speak to us! He will if we get in the chair!”
New! Mary’s heart is to train and coach women in ministry. Be sure to check out her new Zoom coaching ministry, Friends for the Journey.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
Mary, thank you for this message. I have become a fan of your communications of real life struggles and the power of God in the midst of darkness. My heart and mind are broken over recent division and conflict within own family. If not for the Peace of God I swear I would be not of sound mind. I’m learning to have greater faith and reliance upon our Father to work things out in his will for me and not my own desires orperceived outcome. 2 days ago I was a recipient of one of God’s hidden treasures. I remain in a season of darkness I don’t know how long it will last, I do know God has many more hidden treasures for me. Faith is difficult at times, but if not for my Faith I truly believe my own reckless, rebellious self would prevail. I choose to trust in God’s work for me, he has proved himself over and over. I do not deserve his Grace, but he deserves my Faith, Trust, and Praise. In Jesus name I am grateful for the encouragement received in this message today. Thank you.
Debbie, thank you for your encouraging email. You are so right when you say that the peace of God had sustained you. I pray God will continue to cover you with his peace and love. Stand firm in Him! Blessings!
Thanks for this hidden treasure