One of the many things I love about going home to my parents’ place is their inexhaustible supply of fresh baking available in glass jars on the kitchen bench.
Each time I visit, the baking is there to greet me, third in line after a hug from Mum and Dad.
The longest period of time I’ve restrained myself from sampling their plentiful produce was about 45 minutes. And yes, I arrived and immediately had dinner. But as soon as my final pea was consumed, I volunteered for dishes duty—a convenient guise for happening to bump into the cookie jar.
But life in the Shearman household wasn’t always like this. Growing up, I had two older brothers (and a neighbourhood of boys) who also fed off Mum’s baking. And back then, the baking wasn’t just for a weekend, it had to be rationed across an entire, ludicrously long week. Needless to say, baking was a scarce resource back then.
To combat this scarcity, Mum got crafty with the baking storage. She hid cakes where fry pans live, she buried baking chocolate beneath sacks of flour, she put biscuits in unidentified old yoghurt containers, she even deep-froze muffins and hibernated them away among meat trays and ice packs.
I was terrible at sniffing out these hidden treats. But my brother—one brother in particular—had it down. He could sniff out a single piece of chocolate even if it was stashed in the garden shed. He had a talent for searching and discovery, and it helped him thrive (I mean there has to be a reason he was the only one of us three who had the size to hold his own on the rugby field).
Since those days, I’ve come to learn the importance of that same spirit of searching in other, far more important, aspects of life. Learning, relationships, career, music, sport—they all benefit from the practice of hunting out the treasures of life that can’t be seen at first glance.
And on the need to search for treasures, God is no exception.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus implores us to ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.’ God could just give stuff to us straight, or else, because he sees something valuable in the process of searching and discovery itself, God can conceal treasures a little deeper as a reward for those who do seek.
I recently heard a preacher describe his walk with God as often resembling a trail of breadcrumbs. Rather than frustrating him, the preacher said he finds this treasure hunt exciting. Much like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, he lives in hope-filled expectation about each new revelation from God. It drives him on in his search and it makes him feel alive.
How’s your search going? Are you spending time in your Heavenly Father’s pantry, hunting for the sustaining treats he has prepared for you and knowing that he gives good things to his kids?
By Hayden Shearman (abridged from War Cry 7 September 2013, p3)