by Lydia Floren
Birthdays were (and still are) a big deal in the Floren home. When my kids were younger, I would plan special celebrations for them, and sometimes (ok, more than sometimes) I would go a little over the top. When each of our sons turned six, we had a treasure hunt. A dozen or so first graders each made a pirate’s hat, and were given a treasure map and a paper bag. Then, they hunted all over the yard for clues, filling up their bag with prizes as they went. Finally, they were led to the back yard, where a big X marked the spot in the dirt. (Not too original, but effective, especially for a 6 year old.) It was wonderful to watch them attack that dirt, and then after unearthing their very own treasure box, to carefully lift it out of the earth. It was fun to see their eyes light up when they pryed open the lid and discovered the gold coins inside. (Gold coins filled with chocolate, but hey, they were gold.)
Every person on earth—every soul—is a treasure to God. We are His beloved, worth sacrificing His son for. God loves us each with a tenderness, a gentleness, that can take our breath away. He eagerly attacks the mountain of guilt and shame Satan heaps on us, and replaces these lies with His truth: we are free from condemnation. We are whole. We are beloved. And after He gently brushes away the dirt, He delights in showing us—and the world– the bright beauty he has placed within us. The fruitful and fruit-filled life that comes from being loved.
God’s love is life changing. And soul-sustaining.