There are things in your life of tremendous value, but their value has not been revealed to you yet. Today, God wants to show you the value of all you have been overlooking, dismissing, and discounting in your life. Oh you’re about to see the treasure you have, and you will never look at the details of your life the same.
Saturday morning on the north-western shores of Sicily, I watched the sunrise and collected pieces of sea glass. In America, sea glass is considered valuable and collectable. In Sicily, I’m considered slightly delusional for my giddy discoveries.
Yes, it’s old trash. I’m aware. Broken glass bottles, dishes, and housewares, discarded in the ocean have been tossed and tumbled for 100 years, now washing ashore as colorful jewels. But, if you’re not looking for jewels, you only see junk. If you’re not expecting treasure, you disregard it as trash.
Oh Sis, don’t you know, how you see things changes the things you see? If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Each morning on this Sicilian beach, the tanned old men in their speedos and the happy old women with their cigarettes, gather on this beach. They are there for their morning swim. It’s a fishing village, and tourists are very uncommon there, and of course I show up looking like a misfit with a cheesy smile and Chacos.
They watch me from a distance as I squeal with delight over each piece of sea glass I find and joyfully place it in my bag. The entire beach is just covered in it! For those who understand the art of hunting sea glass, you should know, I found royal blue and turquoise pieces laying in plain sight!
I feel the eyes of the local senior citizen swim team watch me. Then, one man approaches me as the designated investigator, and I greet him with “buongiorno”. He recognizes my English accent, and says to me, “where are you from?”
I said, “America.”
He says, “What are you doing?”
I said, “Oh, I’m collecting sea glass.”
Immediately a look of pity comes over his face and he says, “Oh, no, no, no, this is just trash. This is old broken glass. It’s nothing.”
I explained, in America this glass is very hard to find and it’s a treasure for us, so we collect it. He smiles at me with that still confused look on his face and says, “well, okay then.”
The remaining swimmers await his return and I overhear him telling them all about our conversation in Italian. I pick up on the words “Americana” and “collezione”. Yip, I knew they were talking about me. I knew I looked crazy. But I was quickly distracted by another glorious piece of sea glass shinning in the sun.
I continue down the beach on my treasure hunt. Upon my return, I find several of the women standing with clasped full hands, waiting for me. They were so excited to gather pieces of sea glass and give to me. With joy in their voices they would say “collezione, collezione”, meaning this was for my collection. Then here would come another woman, squealing with delight over the treasure she had found for me as well.
I discovered most of the Sicilians on that side of the island are very humble fishing families. They have never left the island of Sicily. All their lives, they’ve walked these beaches with broken glass, but now this Americana informed them it was treasure. I have a feeling they will never see it the same again. They may even pick up a piece in the future and remember the excitement they felt the day we met and hunted together.
Did anything really change? No. It was still just really old broken glass from someone throwing their trash in the ocean. It was still litter. But because it is deemed as valuable, trash is now treasure. Junk is now jewels. And my friends, this is how burdens are lifted and blessings are discovered. It’s all in the way we look at it.
As the image bearers of God, we are charged to see things differently. His Spirit living within us reveals mysteries to us and makes the unknown known. As we trust in his divine involvement in the details of our lives, we begin to see the details differently. This isn’t just some random encounter, this is destiny. This isn’t some untimely twist of bad luck, this is unimaginable fortune designed to bring us to God’s good plans for our lives.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
WE KNOW THIS. Notice that’s what Paul is telling us here. WE KNOW that God causes everything to work together for good. And when we KNOW it, we look at everything differently. This isn’t happening to me, this is happening for me. This isn’t useless, this is being uniquely used. This isn’t random, it is rare. This isn’t trash, this is treasure. The junk you’ve been walking over all your life are actually jewels.
Everything you once dismissed as unimportant details, now becomes details with the fingerprints of God all over them. God held this all in his hands and worked it together for good. Why? Because I choose to love him and he has called me for a purpose. So I KNOW even the things I don’t like, the things I don’t understand, the things I wouldn’t have chosen, they are working together for good because God has good plans for my life!
Jesus wants to walk up to us on the beach and show us a different perspective on the things we’ve been avoiding. He says, “My girl, you think this is trash in your life, but with me, this becomes treasure. These things you’ve been trying to avoid, I want to use. Let me change the way you see this.”
You’ve been burdened by things God has turned into blessings. Let him lift the burdens and show you the blessings now.
You’ve been discouraged by the things you always considered trash in your life. God now wants to show you the treasure in all of this.
There is value here. There is goodness here. God has been doing a work in these old, discarded things, and he’s brought beauty here just for you.
Isn’t that what Jesus does in our lives? He changes the way we see things. When you follow Jesus, he shows you how to look at things differently, and sure enough, things start looking different. Closed doors, delays and detours become divine protection. Disappointments become reappointments. Set backs become set ups.
All because WE KNOW God is working here for us. We know he uses ALL things, even the things I’ve walked right over my entire life and seen as a nuisance. Nope, not a nuisance. Not with God. God is working in this and showing you this trash is treasure with him.
May you see things a little different today. May you discover God’s fingerprints on the details you’ve been overlooking, and may you find true treasure here. May you be surrounded by the jewels of God working in your life, and may you never, ever see it the same again.
And may you be the reason someone changes the way they see the things in their life. May the Jesus in you, reveal the treasure in the trash, to everyone you come in contact with.
Isn’t that what God wants to do in us?