There is a story in the bible about a woman who lost a coin (Luke 15:8-9). That woman lost one coin and she turned her house upside down in order to find it. It wasn't just any coin. I don't believe she turned her house upside down because she was necessarily poor. I believe the coin she lost could have been from her bridal headdress, which was a part of her personal retirement fund should anything happen to her husband. She had to make sure she remained in a financially secure position to keep herself and any dependent children if need be. Not only that, a woman had to be able to account for those coins so that she could prove her faithfulness within the marriage. If she couldn’t account for her dowry, she could potentially be accused of mishandling it for illegitimate purposes and her reputation could be lost. That coin was worth much more than its monetary value. So when she found it there was great rejoicing.
As a divorcee, a single mother, having lost my home and abbreviated my career to put my child first, I often feel peculiar. Out on the fringe from many groups in society. Not fully dismissed but not fully acceptable. Not exactly distrusted but not fully trustworthy. A bit like a square peg in a round hole. I would feel embarrassed to invite people to my home because it was smaller than other peoples, my dining table not large enough, I may not have enough seating, the food on offer may be too simple.
I had to ask myself, is that how I choose to view myself? What value do I find in what I still hold?
My mother used to have a flour bin. It held a huge bag of flour. She reached in to that bin every day to make biscuits, bread, cakes, and meals for her family, and for the many people that would visit for cups of tea and coffee, and sit around the dinner table with us. The door was always open to visitors, and the flour bin always had flour in it.
Even if I was scraping the bottom of the flour bin, I took a lesson from my mother and learned to reach in anyway and make what I could because there was always a greater need than my own. I learned to reach out and invite others in because there was always someone who didn't care about the size of my house, what they needed was the size of my heart.
One night I had been looking at Isaiah 45:3 when I couldn’t sleep.
(NASB) I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
I finally got to sleep but as I woke up, a male voice was saying, “Darkness is fast approaching. The night is drawing near.”
I looked back at the scripture and thought, the darkness doesn't have to be a scary thing.
We don't know what will happen next in our lives or in the world. We may have lost a priceless coin, we may not have much in the flour bin, but let's not be afraid of the darkness, and let's not question it.
God is in the darkness too, and has something worthwhile for us to find. It is in the darkness that we take comfort in holding another's hand - His hand - to lead us. Treasures are in the darkness because they’re valuable; they need to be hidden. That’s why we have to search for the treasure in our dark places. We have to seek out the secret places for the value tucked away there. When we do, there is fullness of joy; there is no end, a limitless supply, of what God has stored there for us to receive.