Saturday, October 29, 2016

Unused Treasure

I dreamed that a dear sister in Christ, a member of one of the Bible studies I teach, asked if she could see my jewelry collection. She had often admired jewelry pieces I had worn, most of them gifts from my husband Richard or inherited from my mother or aunt, but lately I had not been wearing much jewelry.

I open a drawer in the jewelry box for her to see and am embarrassed that it is dusty. Inside is an antique, silver filigree cross set with an amethyst, that Richard had given me for a special occasion long ago. I had forgotten it was there. The silver is tarnished; the left end of the horizontal cross bar is broken off, and the delicate chain is tangled around the cross.  

As I try to disentangle it, the chain breaks in several places. As I am holding and handling the cross, the silver regains a new luster. It begins to transform, changing shape and growing larger until it is in the shape of a tree with many branches. New amethysts appear like ripe plums hanging from the boughs. My friend and I are amazed and rejoice at the transformation.

When I awaken, I realize that the dream is not about material possessions but about spiritual treasure. In the dream, my husband had given me the necklace, symbolizing Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom of the church (Isaiah 62:5; Matthew 9:15; 25:1-10; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35; John 3:29;), Who gives us all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).

At the moment we are saved by placing our faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), we become joint-heirs of all His treasure (Romans 8:17), jncluding eternal life (John 3:16), abundant life here and now (John 10:10), and being seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 1:3).

Jesus does not need us to wear jewelry, for He wants to adorn us with something far more precious – the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), through which His radiance can shine. The prophet Isaiah compares the robe of righteousness in which the Bridegroom clothes us to the jewels adorning the bride (Isaiah 61:10). If we submit to His will and use our spiritual gifts -- the engagement present He gives us when we commit to Him as Lord and Savior – those gifts will glorify Him and bless others.

When the Holy Spirit enters us at the instant of salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13), He gives every believer one or more spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12). But this spiritual treasure does us and others no good if we fail to use it. If we keep it tucked away in a drawer, it will rust and deteriorate. In the dream, my sister in Christ gently reminded me that she wanted to see the treasure I had been given. Bringing the necklace out of the forgotten drawer was the first step, symbolizing using His gift of teaching to edify others.

The jewelry in the dream was a necklace, appropriate because we are bound to Christ as fellow-laborers by a yoke that is easy to bear (Matthew 11:30). The pendant was a cross, reminding me of how He came to earth in human flesh (John 1:14) to suffer and die (Ephesians 2:16), to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice to pay our sin debt and reconcile sinful man to holy God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:20-21; Hebrews 2:17).

The left part of the cross bar was broken off, perhaps a reminder that He has separated us from all our sins, including those in our past that Satan loves to dredge up in an attempt to convince us that we are unfit to serve Christ. But we are His betrothed, and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39). The fragments of chain wrapped around the cross represent those sins, weights and distractions that hinder us from using His gifts to His glory (Hebrews 12:1) .

Centered on the cross was an amethyst (Exodus 28:19; 39:12), a purple gemstone symbolizing His Kingship, for purple is the color of royalty (Exodus 25:4, etc., Judges 8:26, Esther 8:15; Proverbs 31:22; and reminding me of our faith in His shed blood to was away all sins (Mark 15:17). Jesus Christ is Wisdom, Who is far more precious than gold, silver, and rubies (Job 28:18; Proverbs 8:11).

Although I had neglected His invaluable gift, it was amazing to see it transform once I remembered and began to use it! Just by bringing the pendant out into the light and holding it in my hand, the silver began to shine, the chains disentangled, and the pendant began to grow and transform from a cross to a bountiful plum tree! If we use our spiritual treasure, it will grow, and so will we. We will become like a tree planted by rivers of living water, bearing much fruit (Psalm 1:3; John 15:2-8).

May we not forget, neglect, and hoard our spiritual treasure. Instead, may we wear and use it joyfully for all to see and be blessed, to His glory!

© 2016 Laurie Collett
Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop


Linda said...

Laurie, this is such a beautiful and powerful post! Thank you so much for sharing, and I hope your weekend is going well.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
your dream reminds me of, like you said, how we are sometimes not using our spiritual gifts. I believe that is the main problem in the denominational churches, many of which do not allow the gifts to be used. We are shown in scripture how the gifts must operate when we come together:-

'What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a psalm or a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All of these must be done to build up the church.' (1 Corinthians ch. 14 v. 26)
and it does not change because we are two thousand years on.

God bless you Laurie.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
When I was courting Alex back in 1999, I too bought her a pendant to wear around her neck. It was an emerald stone set in a gold frame shaped as a heart.
However, in the book of Revelation, a city is described as consisting of twelve precious minerals, which includes the amethyst and, I think, the emerald too. (Strangely, the most precious stone of all, the diamond, is not included. Mineralogists has proved that this form of carbon is incompatible with the other stones mentioned in the construction of the city.)
This city, the New Jerusalem, will be our eternal home, and will be the destination for everyone who has experienced a new birth in Jesus Christ.
An excellent post, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Linda for your encouraging words! Our weekend has been a real blessing thus far -- hope yours is too!
Love in Christ,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
May we work, pray, worship and glorify Him in one accord, as the early church did in perfect unity, using the gifts He gave each one to edify the others, to His glory!
It is sad that the focus of many churches today has shifted from Christ and His Word to worldly entertainment and even false doctrines. Jesus Christ, the Word, is the same yesterday, today and forever.
God bless you too!

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
That's a fascinating point that the diamond would be incompatible with the other stones! I had never heard that before. Actually, I believe that rubies are considered by some gemologists to be more precious than diamonds because they radiate the color of the minerals within, whereas the diamond reflects whatever colors are around it. Symbolically, this might suggest that the depth of Christ's beauty is sufficient, radiating its own brilliance, rather than reflecting objects of lesser value.

Praise God for His perfect design -- can't wait to see the New Jerusalem, and looking forward to meeting you, Alex and so many others there, if our earthly paths do not cross before then.

Thanks as always for your uplifting comment, and God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great illustration Laurie. So many cease to shine for the Lord because we get caught up in other things.

Laurie Collett said...

So true, Donald! May we keep our eyes on the prize and not lose focus. Thanks as always for your encouragement.
God bless,