Hidden Treasures

Lecia Retter, Enrollment Manager: Registrar’s Office, Prayer Network Coordinator: Ministry of Spiritual Life Office

What an amazing season we are living in! Never in my life did I think I would feel any sympathy for the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go and the Lord kept increasing the severity of the plagues. I imagine the progression from the water in the Nile turning to blood to the death of the firstborn felt a bit like reading the news in recent weeks.

Do you recall what the Lord had the Israelites ask the Egyptians right before the final plague? Exodus 11:2 says, “Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” Even in this horrible situation, God provided treasure for God’s people.

I truly believe there is treasure to be found in every situation. In case treasure-hunting is new to you, here are three of my treasure-seeking tips.

My favorite treasure-seeking question is, “Who do you want to be for me, God, in this situation that you couldn’t be any other time?” Do you realize we will never be in this exact scenario again? We are the only generation who will encounter God during this odd COVID-19 season. We are the only people who will ever live through this incredible world transition. God will never have the opportunity to appear to me, and to you, in this exact same way ever again.

I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to lean in a little closer. Remember Habakkuk 3:17-18, and practice the “yet will I rejoice in the Lord.” Cemented in my mind is a stunning visual of choosing to praise. We were with my dear friend a few hours after her daughter was killed in a tragic accident. As we prayed, she went from deep agonizing cries of pain to praising God for her daughter’s life, then back to pain. You may have similar strong feelings about our world situation. Follow her lead. Allow all your passionate feelings, then choose to praise. You may be surprised at how the Lord meets you when you make the choice to wholeheartedly praise God when life feels so uprooted.

Another of my treasure-seeking tactics is to think about the “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). I cannot out-imagine the possible ways God might bring an end to this, but I can grow closer to God as I try. It is an amazing way to pray! One of my prayer practices is to remind God of what has been done before and ask for it to be done again, but with an upgrade. As I pray for an end to the virus, I have been reminding God of the time those same Egyptians I mentioned earlier were swept into the sea. Not one of them survived (Exodus 14:26-28). God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and can certainly annihilate this virus in one fell swoop. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Allow yourself to dream of what the world might consider ridiculous possibilities. They do not know our Truth. I promise you will experience the “treasure” of enlarged faith.

What are the treasures hidden for you in this pandemic? If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to seek them out. Do not miss this opportunity. This is truly an amazing season!

Originally a Kansas girl, my husband and I decided Oregon is our “heart home” and we are firmly planted here. George Fox is part of the appeal for me, and I have returned to work here four different times. I was the first administrative assistant at the Center for Peace Learning, worked in graduate admissions, was an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, and now work in the registrar’s office. I also have the privilege of coordinating the Prayer Network and praying for each student every year. Prayer is my heartbeat, and I will soon be launching the Unstoppable Prayer Movement (upmovement.org), a 24/7 prayer movement designed to cover the issue of trafficking until it ends.