Being Dad: Treasures in Pockets

Friends, here is installment 2 of my “Being Dad” series of posts. This one deals with the things that we find in pockets. My sons, when they were younger, had an uncanny knack for cramming things into their pockets. That’s where this devotional is from. jerry

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God likes to show off his people to others.. It is His way of showing what he can do with willing hearts.

Key Scriptur

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Romans 8:19-23

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

2 Corinthians 6:3-10

You know what is great about children? It is their unbridled enthusiasm for all things small enough to fit into a pocket. I was reminded of this just the other day when I was doing the laundry (it may have been that Renee was doing laundry, and I was watching). If I recall correctly, it was Jacob’s pants that I was getting ready to wash. One of us was emptying the pockets of the pants. First came a marble. Then a Hot Wheels miniature car. Next came a rock. Then some string. Then something else. Then a quarter. When it was all said and done we could not figure out how the little guy was actually walking around with those pants on his body.

Little boys have this uncanny knack for knowing the amount of square inches that make up the typical pocket. It is almost as if they have taken the pocket out, measured it, and drawn up a schematic of what they will put in, how much they will put in, and where they will put it at inside the pocket itself. It’s like Tetris for blue jeans. There is no telling what one will find inside of a pocket and it is for this very reason that pockets must be checked before the entire pant is placed in the washing machine. In our family failure to do so has resulted in one too many shirts going into the dryer wet and clean and coming out looking like a box of 64 different, brilliant colors (if you get my drift).

For kids it just does not matter what it is that they find: if it is important to them, it is pocket worthy. I doubt that I will ever find a stick of celery or a carrot in a pocket, but I will find candy, marbles, a cookie (or the remnants of a cookie), a toy car, a plastic soldier, a stick, a rock, a nail, a screw, a string and other stuff in there. Why will I find those things? Because those things are valuable and when kids value things they want to keep those things near to them so they can have access to them at any time they deem it necessary. After all, one never knows when that oddly shaped stick will come in handy or when that string might save a life or when that marble will be worth a million in a trade.

Our very lives are pockets for treasures and every now and again God reaches into our lives and reveals some great treasure.

It is not just their pockets, as you know. Kids will load up a small box with all of their treasures and carry it around from room to room for days on end. They may hide several treasures under their mattress or in their pillowcase. Jerry never plays with his treasures but rather displays them on a shelf in his room where only he can adjust their appearance and only he can touch them. His collection includes several bottle caps, some cars, some Cub Scouts stuff he and I made together, several books and other assorted, essential items. Still, it is the pocket that amazes me the most.

The things we love the most we tend to keep the nearest to us. I rarely go out without my pen and notebook. Renee rarely goes out without her purse. I keep a wallet in my pocket. Boys carry treasure in their pockets. Little boys love things in their pockets because it gives them a strong sense of security. “I have something really cool in my pocket, what about you?” Plus, when you find something really cool it is always best to put it in your pocket so that later on you will not have to look for it again. I hate when I find something cool and lose it. The pocket is a place where the cool item can be safely stored until the need to take it out and stare at it occurs later in the day.

What does this all have to do with faith? Actually it has two different applications. For example, the Psalmist says that he has hidden God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin against God. The heart becomes a pocket for the Word of God and we stow it away until such a time as we need it (which is most of the time). Also, inside such a pocket the Word is safe, near, and a part of us. It is not something that is contained with binding, glue and string, but rather, it is our very lives.

There is another, perhaps even a greater, application that has to do with the Gospel of salvation in our lives. Our very lives are pockets for treasures and every now and again God reaches into our lives and reveals some great treasure to someone he desires to show it to. In this way the treasure is always close at hand so that anytime he desires to reach in and show off the treasure he can. He hides his treasure inside of us so that the treasure is even more appealing to those who see it.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)

Pockets are safe places for treasure to be stored. Does it surprise you that God has chosen your life to be the storage place for such a great treasure? Do you have any idea how important you are to God? You are as important to God as the tiny treasures crammed into a little boy’s pocket.

Being a dad has taught me that the most valuable part of this story, for the little boy, is not the treasure, but the pocket in which it is stored. As long as the pocket has no holes and is deep enough, the treasure will always be accessible. How many of us have, at some point in time, grown frustrated or upset because, not knowing about the hole in our pockets, we lost a treasure we adored? We were not happy.

So it is with the death of Jesus in our lives. Make certain there are no holes in your life where Jesus might slip out and get lost. God may be reaching into your life today to show off His treasure to someone who desperately needs to see it.

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. (Acts 5:41. NIV)

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