It was a rare find . . . but was it “enough”?
“Is this Yours?”
We were standing in line at a store in the mall when I looked down and spotted a $10 bill on the floor. Not wanting to take something that may have belonged to someone else, I asked the lady in front of me if she had dropped it.
“No, that’s not mine. Looks like you found yourself a little treasure.”
“I guess I did!” I said, as I shoved the bill into my pocket.
On the way to my car I pulled out the bill to take a closer look. Rarely do I find a penny on the ground, so in my mind, nabbing a $10 bill was equivalent to winning the lottery! I felt around in my pocket for the prized paper. What I discovered nearly sent my heart into arrhythmia–my $10 bill didn’t have one zero on it . . . it had TWO zeroes! My $10 bill was, in fact, a $100 bill! Ben Franklin’s smiling eyes were staring straight at me . . . and believe me, my eyes were smiling back!
Wanting to scream and shout and share the good news with someone, I hurried to the restaurant where my family and I had arranged to meet. I ran through the door toward their booth waving Ben in the air above my head, screaming in an octave I didn’t know I could reach. By the looks on their faces, I quickly realized I had utterly embarrassed my entire family. Upon seeing Ben’s face and hearing my story, though, they understood a lot better the reason for my enthusiasm. I had found a treasure.
Have you ever found a treasure?
Maybe you’re a garage saler and have searched through boxes, bags, and overloaded card tables looking for that item of value. What’s the old adage? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Or maybe you’re like my mom, who hunts for the perfect vacation spot. Finding the ideal bed & breakfast is a source of pure joy for her. Are you a collector? Baseball cards, books, pottery, or figurines–when you come across something special to add to your collection, it is cause to celebrate.
You know the feeling, right? Well, just for a moment, I want you t conjure up that feeling–the one where you’ve just unearthed a treasure–and read the following verse:
“I rejoice in your word like one who finds great treasure” (Psalm 119:162 NLT).
We know that excitement. We’ve experienced the heart-pounding exuberance, but how often have those feelings of elation been associated with the Bible? Here, the psalmist is describing the Word of God as his treasure . . . because it is!
Treasuring the Word
There is a video on YouTube of a tribe in New Papua, Indonesia. In the video, the tribespeople gather in high-spirited celebration awaiting the arrival of a plane carrying special cargo–copies of the New Testament written in the tribe’s own language. A first for the tribe, for never before had the bible been translated into their native tongue. With grand ceremony and great care, the people receive the boxes of Bible. The anticipation is palpable. Tears are shed. Prayers of praise are shouted. Dancing erupts. The people rejoice in the Word . . . like ones who have found great treasure.
Hungry for the Word
David Platt, in his book Radical, shares about believers gathered together in Asian house churches under threat of persecution. Their purpose–Bible study.
Imagine all the blinds closed on the windows of a dimly lit room. Twenty leaders from different churches in the area sat on the floor with their Bibles open. Some of them had sweat on their foreheads after walking for miles to get there. Others were dirty from the dust in the villages from which they had set out on bikes early that morning.
Platt goes on to describe how he spent several days, eight to twelve hours each day, teaching these believers God’s Word. After covering the Old Testament the eager students begged him to teach them the new Testament. They couldn’t seem to get enough. “They were hungry,” he said.
You see, these followers of Jesus Christ treasure the Word.
It is Enough
On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake rocked the already impoverished nation of Haiti. Thousands of people lost their lives. Even more lost family members, friends, homes, and their few belongings. Filthy, overcrowded, under-resourced tent cities sprang up from the ruins. In Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capitol, newscasters from around the globe aired video footage of the crisis. I remember watching one of the reporters interview a young girl. She took him to her makeshift home, a tent constructed of tattered plastic, which housed her entire family. When he asked what personal possessions she owned, she showed him a Bible.
“Is that all you have?” he questioned.
Her response, full of wisdom beyond her years, has stayed with me to this day. While clutching the small black book to her chest she simply stated, “It is enough.”
Something to Think About
Do we treasure the Word?
Do we hunger for it?
Is it enough?
I fear that we, the American church, do not treasure, nor do we hunger for, the Word. And “enough” is not even a word in our vocabulary.
What you have just read is an excerpt from my 6-week inductive Bible Study, Rooted: Understanding the Power and Purpose of God’s Word. If you’d like more information about the book, click here.
I rejoice in your word like one who finds great treasure. –Psalm 119:162