If you knew for certain that treasure was buried in the backyard, would you grab a shovel? Most of us would move digging to the top of the priority list as we thoroughly examined the search area. Forget about distractions like eating or sleeping. Treasure waits the persistent hunter.
As grandson August left for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital with parents, Amanda and Daniel, granddaughter Fern settled in with Grandpa and Grandma. Unknown to her, the G&G team had brainstormed for weeks on a list of activities and adventures the three of us might attempt. We wanted her time with us to be memory-making, entertaining, safe, and energy-sapping so that all of us might look forward to naptime and bedtime.
Grandma knew about the connection between kids and sand. Digging, sifting, tossing, tracking, spreading, maybe a little tasting thrown in for good measure—kids love their sand. Grandma’s planning and preparation included a visit to the discount store for flat marbles and tiny plastic dinosaurs that, once hidden below the sand, would offer the perfect adventures.
Grandpa had the task of creating a suitable sandbox.
I’ve been there and done that. I made a beauty of a box back in the days of yore with benches on the four corners and the prettiest white sand anyone ever purchased. Nearly four feet on a side with a playhouse above my handiwork became the destination for every prowling cat in the county. Ugh!
For Fern’s sand box I chose a 10” deep plastic storage bin with a tight lid. The box dimensions closely match the volume of a standard bag of play sand from the home center.
I spray-painted the outside of the box (gold, of course) to prevent sneak-peeking for the hidden treasures, and we moved the porch rockers to give Fern the best location for her play. With ceiling fans moving the 95-degree air and diverting mosquitoes, we laughed and giggled with her as she dug and sifted and discovered.
I marveled over Fern’s focus on hunting that treasure. As she worked her delightful banter slowed, and her face revealed a determined adventurer. She knew more jewels waited, if only she moved enough sand. Dig deeper. Use both hands. Push sand aside. Feel under the surface. Try another tool. Be persistent. She seamlessly switched from one technique to another as her pile of treasure increased.
In the dusty book of Proverbs we find clues about a treasure that should motivate a similar urge to search.
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:2-6 NASB
What is the wisdom we seek?
Is wisdom a special ability to steer clear of adversity? Does wisdom mean I can unravel life events and put together the why and the how of adverse circumstances?
In my study I learned that God endowed certain people with an advanced level of wisdom because of special assignments. Old Testament characters such as Bezalel (Exodus 31:2), Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9), Solomon (1 Kings 4:29), and Hiram (1 Kings 7:14) were divinely enabled for the tasks ahead.
God is the source of wisdom. And He is willing to make His wisdom available to any believer who asks. Review this great promise…
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NASB
Why do we encounter so many dejected, depressed, disillusioned believers? Shouldn’t we get the answers we seek, the insight we need simply by asking? That was the struggle Job faced. He wanted to know why his life had, without warning and with no wrong-doing on his part, turned into pooh. By the end of the book, after a deeply moving encounter with God, Job realized that understanding the complexities of life events was beyond his human capacity. Even in the wasteland of his ignorance he had to trust that God knew the answers.
Often our search for wisdom runs off into the weeds. And usually we’re seeking something God has not promised. We want His level of insight, His degree of understanding, and His prescience. We want to see life through God’s eyes so everything has purpose and makes sense.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB
In his book, Temptations Men Face, author Tom L. Eisenman writes (page 118), “Wisdom is a godly heart applied to life’s choices. It is a heart that looks for God and yearns for his way in every decision…”
Dr. David Jeremiah teaches, “In Scripture, wisdom refers to knowing the course of action that will please God and make our lives what He wants them to be.” (Source: Overcomer, Dr. David Jeremiah, Page 127).
How do I get wisdom?
Dr. David Jeremiah adds (page 134), “Wisdom must be sought in order to be found; it doesn’t arrive wrapped in a bow on the doorstep of your Christian life.”
Acquiring wisdom takes time. We study and learn. We grow spiritually by gaining insight from God’s Word. We improve and mature. And we keep at life with our eyes firmly focused on God.
J. I. Packer, author of the masterpiece, Knowing God, explains the process for gaining spiritual wisdom, “We must learn to reverence God. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ Not till we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God’s holiness and sovereignty, acknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can divine wisdom become ours.”
James, the half-brother of Jesus, described spiritual wisdom in these terms.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17 NASB
If my decisions are not flavored with those spices, then I am not applying spiritual wisdom.
Who knew that watching a child searching for trinkets could lead to such deep considerations?
My grandchildren have so much to teach me.