As the grizzled old prospector walked towards his rundown cabin, a small object on the ground caught his eye. He stooped down to get a closer look. It was a tiny blue bead, evidence that someone had lived here long ago. He picked it up and rubbed it between his fingers thoughtfully. How many others had trod upon this wild tract of land with its tangle of trees and its dirty, winding stream and had never seen the potential?
He had come here a year ago and set up his claim. Every day, he spent hours crouching beside the muddy water, swirling dirt and gravel in his metal pan. He’d pick out the big rocks, swirl the pan around some more, pick out the smaller rocks, pour out some of the gravel and water, add more water, and swirl it again. Over and over.
It took time and effort to find those little flakes of gold. But it had been worth it. Despite his coarse appearance and his poor living conditions, he was a rich man.
This is the image that comes to mind when I think about studying God’s Word. James 1:25 says, “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
How many people give the Bible a cursory glance and then walk away, never realizing its life-changing potential? How many times haven’t I done the same? Reading the Word becomes just a routine, something to check off my daily to-do list.
And yet, every verse, every precious and holy word, is packed with golden flecks of truth, treasures waiting to be discovered. Sometimes, it requires time and effort to bring them to light. We need to look carefully. We need to wait on the Holy Spirit. We need to meditate on what we read. We may need to pull out our concordances and commentaries to better help us swirl and sift through the scriptures so that we can get at those glinting, golden truths.
But it’s worth it. It’s worth it because God longs to share the treasures of His heart with us. He wants to draw us close and love on us. He wants to give us words of love to share with others. The deeper we dig into the Bible, the greater the treasure.
No matter what our earthly living conditions, those flecks and nuggets of truth in God’s Word, those are what make us truly rich.
I desperately want to be rich. How about you?