I love all things gold and I have a lot of it in my house. I even have two gold maps: this canvas one of the world and a gold foil map of Manhattan. I love them because they remind me of Jesus saying in Matt 13:44-45:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
When I look at these prints, I remember all the gold Jesus sees in each of us, the gold He sees in every person, even in the darkest of places. We are His treasure, guys! The ones that He gave everything for. He saw the gold in us when we were still dirty and ugly and not seemingly worth much to the Kingdom; and yet, He rescued us, cleaned us up and redeemed us. We are his most prized possessions. His treasure. And why would someone purchase a treasure that cost their whole life and then hide it in a closet or leave it in a corner to the mercy of dust and rust. No, you put your treasure in a high, safe and visible place for all the world to enjoy with you. Jesus LOVES it when His treasure shines.
When we shine in all the glory we were meant to, it’s like His precious gems are sparkling before Him and delighting Him as they reflect His own glory and light, each with our own unique colors and prisms casting different, beautiful shapes and colors.
And He is our treasure too: worth selling all we have for. The light worth pursuing at all costs. It’s what shows off our beauty after all. And it was the light that created us to begin with.
Marianne Williamson probably says it best with this famous quote. You may have heard the first sentence, but read on. It’s all brilliant, like you!
“Our deepest fear is not that we’re inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.”
This is a lesson I am still learning: how to shine. It’s easy to let others shine, in fact that was the whole purpose of why I created this blog, to celebrate all the glory God is shining through you; but I’ve been under the influence of a lie about myself that says, “You’re hogging the spotlight.” Then one day I realized, the voice I thought was wisdom and humility, would actually start speaking to me anytime I was ever talking to any group of people for more than 5 seconds. “Stop talking!” it would say. “Let someone else talk, why are you such a spotlight hog?” I realized it wasn’t the Holy Spirit at all, but another spirit who wanted me to stay silent and hold myself back. I had let it talk to me like that for so long, I thought it was a part of me. But as Marianne so wisely put it, “How does that serve the world?” The world is served by us letting God in us OUT. Why do we so often hide the light he gave us and call it “humility”?
So I want to ask you today, are you shining? Are you letting Jesus shine through the unique prism He created in you? Or do you hold back, fearing being called a show-off, arrogant, prideful or an attention-seeker? Or perhaps instead, do you fear that you have nothing inside that will shine? I may have never met you, but I can tell you FOR SURE that’s not true. Jesus told you how much you are worth by what He gave for you. He gave EVERYTHING. His very life. To Him, you are the pearl of greatest price, made to be cleaned, shown, protected and celebrated.