Have you ever been on a treasure hunt? The thrill of the hunt is in the anticipation of finding the treasure! What joy and excitement we have once the pursuit is finished and the prize is in our hands!
If you knew there was a treasure that was greatly valued, longed for, and desired what lengths would you go to find it? Would you study the map of clues, or take time to get to know the surroundings where you thought the treasure was?
Jesus did and still does. According to Deuteronomy 7:6, he greatly values his people:
"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
God’s pursuit of us will stop at nothing. He has us marked and will go to any length to seek us out, to heal, encourage, speak, and even save us. Not just the non-believer, but also the believer! Here’s a time where we experienced God’s personal pursuit of us...
My husband Bryan was on a trip to Northern California for work. At the last minute, the customer asked if Bryan could drive three hours north for an unexpected job. Bryan and Christopher (our son) agreed and made the trip. An employee there, knowing Bryan was from out of town, suggested he tour around the town, and pointed them in the direction of The Sun Dial Bridge. This particular bridge is iconic in this part of the country, known for its beauty and made of glass.
Bryan and Chris took the suggestion and toured the town. After taking a few detours they made it to the bridge; it was breathtaking. Noticing the time, the boys started heading for the car, where they were stopped by a man. “Excuse me sir,” he said. “I am doing a treasure hunt and I think you are the treasure.”
Confused, Bryan asked, “Oh, what are you looking for?”
Holding out a piece of paper, the man answered, “You!”
Taking a closer look Bryan noticed there were all sorts of clue words written on the paper: names, places, and articles of clothing. The man pointed to his list of clothing that said, “Grey shirt, blue jeans, and construction type boots.” He smiled at Bryan and said, “You fit the description!”
“What are you supposed to do?” Bryan asked.
“I’m supposed to pray for you,” he said.
The next hour was filled with healing prayer, prophetic words, and encouragement. It was a joyous time. Bryan and Chris left feeling personally touched by Jesus.
The God of the Universe took the time to orchestrate such a meeting. Bryan was not supposed to be in this particular area. Jesus went out of his way to change Bryan’s plans, get him to the bridge, give the seeker clues about Bryan’s clothing, put them in the same place at the same time, and identify Bryan to the man. Wow! Talk about holy pursuit! All to let Bryan and Chris know that they are valued and treasured by Christ.
In the same way, our team is practicing pursuing Jesus’s treasured ones. We are learning how to “treasure hunt,” that is, carefully listen to Jesus and ask him how we are to love the person in front of us.
One experience of this was when Bryan and our teammate Mike were in an airport in Belgrade. During his quiet time that morning Mike had had a vision of a man in blue pants with a blue jacket who had leg problems. He heard the Lord say to pray over the man when he saw him. As Bryan and Mike were standing in line at the airport ticket counter, Mike saw the man behind them in line! He was wearing exactly what Mike had seen in his vision! The man was sitting in the line, unable to stand, and walked “crab-style” to move forward in line. Mike wasn’t sure how to approach the man, so at first he did nothing. They left the ticket counter, and Mike felt terrible about his missed opportunity.
Later at the gate, the man came directly up to them and asked if they happened to have a charger. After helping the man, Mike introduced them and asked if the man had leg problems. He said that yes, he had incredible leg pain and often didn’t know what to do. Mike shared his vision from God and asked if he could pray over the man, who delightedly agreed. Mike and Bryan prayed and the man was instantly healed.
The man was astonished. “What just happened? How did you do that? Is this magic?” He was not a believer and was unaware that Jesus treasured him so much! During their flight, the man walked up and down the aisles the whole time in amazement over his healing.
Mike had been told in his vision that the man would be healed instantly, but that for full healing he would need to find someone in his hometown to pray a second prayer. Before parting ways with the man Mike and Bryan shared this message from Jesus about finding someone to pray for him in his hometown—a powerful reason to connect with a local believer and encounter Jesus again.
Being part of Jesus’s pursuit of this man—one of his treasured ones—was an awesome thing to experience! His love for us is truly amazing.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Take time to reflect on the ways Jesus has pursued you. How has he demonstrated that you are treasured by him?
- How might Jesus be asking you to seek out and treasure others?
For more information on how to treasure hunt read “The Ultimate Treasure Hunt” by Kevin Dedmon.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Matthew 13:44
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Thiele and her husband Bryan live near Phoenix, AZ. They launched the ChurchNEXT team Kineo, which seeks to transform the impact of the Church by taking them into the trenches of experience, discipling and equipping the Church through immersion with the poor and marginalized.