Have you ever been on a treasure hunt or maybe even an Easter egg hunt? There’s something fun about looking for a special treasure, even if it’s chocolate coins and not real gold. (But if any of you have found a real treasure map with buried treasure, that is so cool!) My parents always had a treasure hunt for me at Christmas when I was a little girl. Early Christmas morning, we’d open presents while I had some chocolate milk and a piece of one of my mom’s nut rolls. At the end, there was always a treasure hunt for a special present. “Special” didn’t necessarily mean expensive. It was just something that would be fun.
A few days ago, my mom and I were laughing over one particular treasure hunt. When I was four, the toy I wanted more than anything was a “Sea Wee” She was a tiny plastic mermaid who came with a baby mermaid, a comb for her hair, and a “magical floating lily pad.” (“magical floating lily pad” = a sponge with holes in it so she could “float.”) Playing in the bathtub until my little fingers were like raisins was a highlight of my day, and a Sea Wee was my idea of a treasure. My parents gave me clues, and I ran all over the house, while wearing my pink flowered flannel night gown and Sesame Street Bert and Ernie slippers. My parents were laughing hysterically because they kept saying the present was right in front of me. I figured out from their clues, that the present was my Sea Wee, but I couldn’t find her anywhere. In the middle of their laughter, my aunt called to say “Merry Christmas.” I expressed my frustration to her “I can’t find it ANYWHERE!” as my parents almost landed on the floor from laughing. In my defense, I was four. I was certain I checked the couch. I KNOW I checked it thoroughly, maybe. Finally, I turned around, and there it was, one blue Magical Floating Lily Pad! The bright blue edge was peeking out from inside a pile of dark brown pillows. It was right in front of me. My treasure was hidden in plain sight.
How often are we like that when it comes to God? He has so much He wants to show us. In our haste to get out treasured prize, we insist we’ve listened to His every word, and looked everywhere. In reality, we haven’t heard anything He’s said and are looking in all the wrong places. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us how much God wants to show us:
“‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.’” (NET)
I don’t know about you, but I’m excellent at the “call on Him” part. Where I fail is the “waiting for the answer.” I’m quick to ask God when a promise He made me will be fulfilled, when a need will be met, or how I’ll make it through the day. I ask over and over, never giving Him a chance to answer. When I slow down, usually He reminds me of the promises He has fulfilled, sometimes they’re even stepping stones towards the fulfillment of the bigger promise. Many times, that need is met in an unexpected way, or I realize it wasn’t as pressing of a need as I thought. Usually, I’m the one who has myself spinning in circles focusing on what’s going wrong to the point that I miss out on His peace.
The next time you find yourself unsure if God is really listening or if that treasure you’re hunting for is ever going to be found, remember a little girl with curly hair hunting for a blue “magical floating lily pad.” Have a laugh at my expense, ask God, then listen for His answer. If all else fails, check the couch.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!
Do you have a funny Christmas memory like this? Maybe it’s about yourself, a sibling, child, niece, or nephew? I’d love to hear them. We could all use a good giggle. Please leave a comment on the blog. You’re important to me!