Unexpected Treasure

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I often think of this quote when I go thrifting. Amongst the “trash,” treasures await. My bounty might consist of a gold-rimmed teacup, tiny silver spoons, or an elegant serving dish. These are then rehomed, restored, and reentered into service at my tea parties.

On a recent Goodwill run, however, I returned home with a different kind of treasure. The Bible places the value of this treasure above the gold and silver articles that might adorn a fancy tea table. (See Proverbs 3:13-15.) I didn’t pluck this treasure off a shelf, but received it from the “mouth of babes.” (See Matthew 21:16.)

I was conducting my usual rounds, scanning the shelves in search of that special something, when a breathless, brown-haired girl of preschool age nearly bumped into me. Wide-eyed, she reversed course and scampered down a nearby aisle.

“Emily? EMILY?” she called frantically, her anxiety rising with each repeated question. Just as I was about to offer my assistance, an older version of the young girl popped out from behind a rack of clothes. Emily. The frightened girl was visibly relieved to be reunited with (what I assumed to be) her big sister.

As I resumed my rounds, I overheard the following exchange.

Emily: “Are you scared?”

Emily’s voice was comforting, kind. I pictured her mini-me nodding silently in response. Emily continued in a sweet, soothing tone.

“Don’t be afraid. Because Jesus…”

Her words trailed off as my steps placed her out of earshot. I mentally completed her sentence.

“Because Jesus…is always with you.”

Yes. That’s what she would have said.

But the more I thought about it, I decided I preferred to leave the phrase open-ended.

“Don’t be afraid. Because Jesus…”

It could now be finished in a number of different, and equally meaningful ways.

“Because Jesus…loves you.”

“Because Jesus…will help you.”

“Because Jesus…understands.”

I left Goodwill empty-handed, yet carrying an unexpected treasure. I carefully turned it over and over in my mind, examining the profound wisdom cradled in five simple words. My newly acquired treasure even traveled with me the next morning to the dentist’s office, where I faced a dreaded filling. Nervously reclining in the vinyl chair, I recited Emily’s wise-beyond-her-years words to myself, tapping out the eight syllables with my sweaty fingertips.

“Don’t be afraid. Because Jesus…”

“Don’t be afraid. Because Jesus…”

Her encouraging words comforted me. Jesus’ encircling presence calmed me.

“Because Jesus.” Because if you have Jesus, you have everything. He is always enough.

How about you? Are you anxious? Scared? Feeling a bit lost? Might I encourage you to take hold of dear Emily’s wisdom and treasure it as your own?

“Don’t be afraid. Because Jesus…”

Let Him fill in the blank for you. He knows exactly what you need in this very moment. Or perhaps He’ll leave it open, and instead fill your heart with the comforting and calming assurance that He truly is enough.

I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
(Psalm 16:8, NASB)

6 thoughts on “Unexpected Treasure

  1. Shelley, Thank you for writing such true words. God does not want us to be afraid, He is everything we need, especially in those hard, scary moments.

  2. You are so welcome, Bev. I’m thankful He shared this reminder, that a child-like faith in HIM is all we ever need.

  3. Awww Shelley, that was a wonderful treasure!! Don’t you love how He gives us lovely gifts wrapped in gold, but worth more than silver or gold? I will remember this. Thank you for the beautiful message.

  4. Patti, He definitely gives the best gifts! I’m glad that my little story brought a memorable message to you.

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