Monday, June 18, 2007

Treasures & Trials

Lately I’ve been listening a lot to an album by Keith and Kristyn Getty, entitled “In Christ Alone”. Great contemporary hymns with lots of meat on their bones, and I’m sure that many people are familiar with the title song. One of my favorites, though, is “Jesus, Draw Me Nearer”. The lyrics are by Margaret Becker. One phrase in the chorus is: “Let the treasures of the trial form within me as I go…”

I’ve been thinking about that all week…the treasures of the trial…

How often do I think of those hard times and trials as containing treasure? Suffering and pain are not just pointless, and they are not just part of the curse of sin. Nor do they just produce treasure at the end…they are bound up in the treasure itself. Just as they were in Job’s life and trial, they are actual road signs that point us to a deeper understanding of God’s grace and His love for me. Without them, I might miss some of His deepest blessings.

“Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne”

“…form within me as I go…” Those are pregnant words, aren’t they? God is actively involved in both my treasure and my trial, just as He was in Job’s trial. Just as He was in Mary’s trial when she allowed Him to inhabit her body for 9 months, forming a Body for Himself. She certainly endured trial, ongoing trial, for the sake of that treasure.

“…at the end of this long passage, let me leave them at Your throne.”

Mary left her son, God’s Son, at the throne of His Cross, but the things she “treasured in her heart” went with her all the way to Heaven. Was her trial worth it? Can you feel the treasure forming? Can you appreciate it, even now, during the trial? My family and I are living in the midst of a number of personal trials right now, but I can see the treasure forming. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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