Marbles4There are times when God will teach me a lesson (or a few) in such a unique and profound way, it leaves me with an almost strange, odd feeling; like did that just really happen? Well, I had one of those this morning.

With the awesome blue sky and bright sun shining outside, I decided to go on a prayer walk. I started out as I’ve done in the past, taking the same path I usually take… on the sidewalk around the complex and then down the street headed east. As I approached the end of our complex property, the road/sidewalk going straight ends, but an extension continues around the corner to the right. As I got ready to cross the ‘dead end’ street and continue down the sidewalk to the right as I’d done before, what caught my attention were the barricades at the end of the road going east. I’d see those barricades before as I’m driving and naturally made a right turn to continue where the street was paved. For beyond the barricades was literally nothing but tumbleweeds, sandy soil and garbage strewn about for as far as the eye could see.

But today, I noticed something different. Those barricades had no signs on them… no ‘Do Not Enter’ or ‘No Trespassing’… just barricades.

At that moment, the thought crossed my mind that those barricades were only there to keep cars out; to direct them to the right. But, I wasn’t in a car and there was nothing that told me I couldn’t go explore what lay beyond the barricades. So, I got adventurous and walked past the roadblocks into the ‘unknown’. As I did I began to notice that there were no footprints or really any indications that anyone else frequented this area… hmmmm. I saw stray tumbleweeds, chunks of concrete, Marbles2miscellaneous garbage, one sandal and a shower head, to name a few. Then, something bright and shiny caught my eye. Thinking at first it was another piece of garbage, I almost just walked past it. But curious, I bent down to investigate and what I picked up was a nice looking, transparent blueMarbles glass marble. Pretty cool, I thought. Then as my eyes spanned the area in which I was standing, I began to notice more of these marbles; some laying on top of the ground and some mostly buried in the sand. Interesting place to find marbles… and lots of them! I began picking them up and sticking them in my pocket. Within a matter of 15 minutes or so, I had a pretty good handful. I was going to continue ‘combing’ the ground for these little ‘treasures’ when another thought came to mind – ‘Why hoard all those for yourself? Share the bounty!’ I thought of my grandkids and how much fun they would have out there searching for the marbles in the sand. I decided to be content with the ‘treasures’ I’d received today, both in the marbles and the lessons, and save the rest for when I could bring the grandkids out there for more treasure hunting.

To be honest with you, I walked home with my hand in my pocket, holding tight to the marbles I’d just found – tears in my eyes as I meditated on the lessons I’d just learned. Thank you Jesus for those unique and powerful lessons that You so profoundly, yet so gently show us!

Here are a few of the lessons I learned:

1. To often we see those ‘roadblocks’ and ‘barricades’ in our lives as the ‘end of the road’ signs. We assume that just because what we ‘see’ would tell us we can’t go any further, many times, if we just step back and take another look, that’s not really the case. For some, it may be the ‘end of the road’, but maybe not for you or I.

2. Often it’s when we are willing to step out into the unknown, ‘where no man has gone before’, that we find a ‘treasure’ we never expected to find. I had no idea what lay before me. Standing on the edge of the paved road, looking out into ‘nothingness’, I couldn’t see anything but sandy soil and garbage. I would have never guessed that there was treasure out there.

3. Many times, we don’t recognize the ‘treasure’ at first. What we do see first is the garbage. Yep, as I Marbles3walked, my eyes definitely spotted all the garbage that was lying around. For one, all the garbage I saw was a lot bigger in size than those tiny marbles in the sand. I think life can be the same. Even when we are in the midst of a ‘treasure field’, too many times, all we see is the ‘garbage’.

4. I wouldn’t have seen those tiny marbles if it hadn’t been for the sun reflecting on them. Most of the ‘treasure’ that show up in our lives are initially ‘small’ in comparison to the rest of the ‘stuff’ that we see around us. And we can easily miss them when we try to see them with our ‘natural’ eyes. But, when the sun, or Son (as in Jesus) shines on even the smallest of things, they can instantly become all we see. Once my eyes had locked onto a couple of those marbles in the sand, as I began to look around, I began to see many. Without the sun, I most likely would have just walked on by and probably stepped on a few, burying them deeper in the sand. But, when I recognized the reflection of the sun on the marbles, even those that were mostly buried, I couldn’t help but run to them.

5. Be willing to share the bounty! Blessings and treasures that come our way are not meant to be Gavyn & Nevaehhoarded. They are meant to be shared with others. With the ‘treasure field’ of marbles I found, I get doubled blessed. Not only do I now have some really cool marbles that I’ve collected (and great life lessons to go with them), but I get to share that joy with my grandkids and watch and see the excitement on their faces as they go treasure hunting. Now, that’s going to be fun!

Marbles5My hope and prayer is this “God lesson” for me today would be an encouragement to you as well. May we keep our eyes open to the reflection of Jesus in our world around us… even in the midst of all the ‘garbage’. Why? Because, often, that’s where the untapped treasure is. And it’s waiting to be discovered by those who are adventurous enough and trusting enough to step out beyond what others might see as the ‘end of the road’, but we see as an opportunity to gather in an untouched harvest. Be blessed!

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