The maps are often brown, crumpled with jagged edges, charred as if just having escaped destruction by fire. Sketches of paths, mountains, valleys, caves and deserts cover the page. A large “X” marks the spot of the buried treasure. Stories (some true, most not) circulate about such valuable, mysterious treasures. Books are written and movies are made about them. People are fascinated by them; hopes are constructed around them. Treasures. Buried treasures. Hidden treasures. Valuable treasures. Desired treasures. Perhaps there is a little “treasure hunter” in all of us – the mystery, the surprise, the quest, the prospect of finding something that no one else has found.
Isaiah 45:3 says, “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.”
Treasures of darkness? Riches stored in secret places? It is true. God has things – treasures! - for us that we could not know in any other place than in the dark times that He allows us to walk with Him through. These are the places where we find the treasures, and these treasures are evidence that He knows our name.
Precious jewels like diamonds and rubies are usually not found scattered on the ground. They are hidden – buried treasures -- deep below the earth’s surface, as well. They are dug for, chipped away at, carved out and polished. Pearls, hidden between the strong clasps of an oyster’s shells, are dived for in to the deep oceans.
So it is, dear reader, the Lord has precious treasures for us, riches stored in secret places, in the deep, dark places of our life. He gives us a map (His Word) to navigate our way over the mountains of pain, through the valleys of betrayal, in the storms of sorrow, in the vastness of the ocean and in to the caves of loneliness. As we search and seek with Him, He gives these treasures to us. He guides us to valuable truths that we could only find in these dark places. These rare and brilliant truths are not just laying out on the surface for anyone to pick up who is just meandering by. No, these truths are special ones He has just for us – truths about Himself, ourselves and His great, unfailing love.
The hidden treasures are “so that …” we know that He is God and that He calls us by name -- personally. What a joy! What a reassurance! Even here, now, when all may be dark and dank, there are treasures wedged between the hardness of the rock or in the depth of the ocean, waiting for us to discover them with the direction and strong hand of God, so that we will know more of Him and His intimate relationship with us.
Seek for these treasures – treasures that are far greater than any earthly treasure. Yes, they are buried, but they are beautiful, and they are for you.