Trial | Treasure | Truth

The greatest treasure that we so often miss amidst the trials of our lives is the light of Christ that God chose to place in our hearts.

Jan 21, 2022

By Nicholas Lye
Paulo Coelho once said, “You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure.” When was the last time you went on a treasure hunt? Or have you been too busy being a victim of the world and all its trials and tribulations?

Recently, I led a group of Church ministry members in a day of recollection via Zoom. As part of an ice-breaker activity, I invited them to find items in their room that fit the following descriptions and showcase them in front of their screens:
(a) First item you use when you wake up;
(b) An item you frequently use every day;
(c) An item that is hardly used;
(d) An item that makes you smile.

(Feel free to join in the fun and do this for yourself. You may be surprised by what you might find or discover.)

I then asked them what they noticed in the process, to which many were surprised by the things in their room that were important to them but which had been left unnoticed or had been taken for granted. I subsequently congratulated them (and you would have too, if you had joined in the fun) for being “an adventurer in search of treasure”.

Isn’t it true that we can become so bogged down by life’s trials and tribulations that we easily miss out on the treasures all around us, some even ‘hidden’ in plain sight, yet still unnoticed and unappreciated? What if we could learn to be adventurers more often than victims, discovering treasures out of our trials, and allowing ourselves to be surprised by the greater truths in life?

Through the rest of this article, I would like to offer you more than mere reading content. What if I could bring you on an adventure, and offer you a Spirit-led prayer experience through this very page? What if you could discover your own treasures and truths that speak personally to you? If you are open to this, then read on and let’s embark on this adventure together!

“Trials of every sort come to us” (2 Cor 4:8)

St Paul reminds us that our lives are never spared of trials. Yet, neither are the adventures that people embark on. The key, I believe, is not to focus on the trials, but on the treasure that lies ahead. As we begin our adventure, let us first situate ourselves in the reality we are in and acknowledge the trials that have come to us in this season of our life.

Invitation: Write down on a piece of paper whatever words that come to mind that describe the trials you are facing now in life. Name the feelings that arise from these trials.

Adventurers seldom shy away from trials. Some might even find a thrill in overcoming them. If we can adopt such a mindset, we can better understand why St Paul also ends the above verse with “but we are not discouraged”, and here is the reason why.

“We carry this treasure in vessels of clay” (2 Cor 4:7)

St Paul speaks of a treasure that can already be found very close to us, a treasure contained in the fragility and unpredictability of life. Let us experience this for ourselves by first searching for treasures around us.

Invitation: Walk around your room and pick three items that make you happy or bring you life. Name the feelings that arise from these items. Take notice of what is happening for you.

What you might have noticed is that, despite how you are feeling towards the trials in your life, you were still able to experience feelings of joy, hope, comfort, or inspiration within seconds of discovering and noticing treasures that were already in your room all along. If this were true from mere objects around us, how much more would it do for us if we started paying attention to the greater treasure already present within our hearts that St Paul talks about?

“God who said, Let the light shine out of darkness, has also made the light shine in our hearts to radiate and to make known the Glory of God, as it shines in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6)

The greatest treasure that we so often miss amidst the trials of our lives is the light of Christ that God chose to place in our hearts. Yet, how often are we adventurers who seek out the treasure of His truth that can shine through the darkness of our trials, and show us the greater victory already won for us?

May this final invitation allow you to discover that treasure within you, and receive the truth that God desires to speak to you today.

Invitation: Using the three items you had picked earlier, create a treasure that reveals the face of Christ and speaks truth to you in a personal way. Allow God to inspire you in the process of uncovering the treasure in your hands as you play around with the items, and listen as He speaks to you.

(Nicholas Lye is a creative evangelist who loves creating spaces and experiences for people to encounter God in a personal way and discover truths that help them become fully alive in Christ.)

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