In Search of Treasure

In Search of Treasure

by Meredith Mills


Don’t you love a good treasure hunt?

My tween daughter wanted a detective party for her birthday last year, so my husband planned the treasure hunt to end all birthday party treasure hunts. It was incredible.

mystery-1773200_1280The clues were crazy hard, but the girls embraced the challenge and finally deciphered them all by working together.

One final clue led to the birthday cake, which Hubby also made. (If I’d been in charge of the cake, we’d have picked one up from Costco.) The treasure, a bag of chocolate coins, was hidden inside the cake. (He’d baked a hollow spot into the cake and hidden the coins inside before frosting it.)

The girls had a blast searching for hidden treasure.

I’ve been on my own treasure hunt for the last few years.

During a particularly dark season of life (Confessions of a Good Girl), I realized many of my beliefs about God were flawed. Though I loved Him deeply, my life was driven by duty and ruled by fear. I desperately needed the rest to which Jesus invites us (Matthew 11:28-30).

Using a journal and my Bible (ok, actually I use my Bible app), I began recording everything God reveals about Himself in the passages I read during my daily Bible time. I’ve been doing this for about three years now, making notes about His actions and reactions, His promises and the names by which He describes Himself.

What I’ve learned has thrilled my soul and deepened my love for Him. Jesus is unlike any treasure earth can offer.

Here’s a verse I read recently:

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

A person’s names reveal various attributes of that person.

For example, when I say that my name is Meredith, you learn very little about me. But if I tell you that I’m also called Wife and Mom, Daughter and Sister, writer, reader, singer and traveler, coffee-drinker and chocolate-lover…you know a bit more about me.

So it is with our God.

Many people call their objects of worship god. What sets our God apart? His names help us answer that question.

He is the Most High, the Creator, the Lover of our soul, the Good Shepherd, the Father of the fatherless and Husband to the widow…

His various names minister to us in different ways as we walk through life. By faith, we can cling to God’s specific names and find security.

This looks different from one day to the next and from one season to another. Here are some examples of what it looks like in my life:

  • My husband is self-employed. Traditionally, summer is the slowest time of the year for us. One summer, work was scarce and money was tight. But bills were still due, so I ran to our Provider with a very specific request. The next day, He came through, miraculously meeting our needs.
  • Several years ago, I experienced a miscarriage. As I walked through that painful time, I relied on God to be my Healer. He brought both physical and emotional restoration.
  • Today, as I write, I’m asking my all-wise Creator for wisdom and creativity.
  • In a few days, we’ll begin another year of homeschooling. I’ll seek the Teacher to instruct me on how best to teach my kids.

Whatever you’re facing today, whatever you’ll face tomorrow and next year, God’s name is a strong tower, a hiding place of refuge and protection from the storms that assail. strong tower

Which name of God is your strong tower today? Please comment below – I’d love to hear! Let’s get to know Him better together!

Related Posts:

Shields are Not Just for Superheroes

When I Forget…God is Faithful

When Life Blindsides You




The Prize

The Prize

Have you ever won the lottery?

No? Well, don’t feel bad – I haven’t either. (Of course, I hear you have to play to have a chance at winning, so maybe that has something to do with it.)

How about being chosen in a drawing, like at the Home and Garden’s Expo? You just fill out a little slip of paper, giving them all your personal information, then sit back and wait for a phone call. Sounds easy enough. I’d enjoying having new windows for my entire house.

jelly-beans-2099733_1280Or even just the “guess how many jelly beans are in the jar” game? Nope. I’ve haven’t won that one either.

I’ve never been a lucky person.

My husband, on the other hand, now he was an altogether different story. He used to win drawings and prizes a lot. Until he married me.

Whatever your views on luck versus the sovereignty of God, there’s something inside each of us that loves to win. Be it small or big, we humans delight in attaining something of value.

Recently, I was wrestling through a life circumstance I wanted God to change. I thought this change would simplify life and add value to my days. I read and began memorizing the following verses – “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:25-26).

So, I waited. And I prayed. And I tried to change things on my own, which I guess isn’t really waiting on God.

Then I grew resentful when God didn’t bring the change I sought. I prayed and waited and tried some more.

And then I gave up.

God showed me that, while I love Him and desire to follow Him, I was fighting the direction He’d given. I was fighting Him.

You know, if I were God (and it’s a good thing I’m not), I’d be pretty irritated when my child wouldn’t follow my instructions. When, after lavishing goodness upon her, she kicked and squirmed and tried to run the other direction, I would find my patience growing thin.

But wonder of wonders, God didn’t treat me that way.

First Timothy 1:16 describes Jesus as “immensely patient.” And that’s exactly what I’ve found. With gentleness and grace, He led me to a place of surrender.

Oh, that word. Sometimes it makes me cringe. It feels so unnatural to surrender to someone else’s control. But this, like everything else in Christianity, is a matter of faith.

It’s a conscious choice to believe that the heart of God is good. To trust that He really does have my well being in mind. To act upon the belief that He sees the bigger picture and higher purpose.

I was waiting for God to grant me the “prize” for which I prayed. Instead, He gave me more of Himself. And I realized that Jesus is the prize, the treasure of infinite value.

People “surrender” many things for the chance at winning a prize – time, money, personal information…And any prize that we gain is temporal and sometimes worth very little.

But when Jesus asks us to surrender, He offers us in exchange the priceless gift of friendship with God.

Priceless Gift


Paul said I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

And might I add a side note? When I surrendered, I told God, “Lord, I’ll do what You ask. But I can’t keep living like this – discontent, restless, angry. You have to change my heart. I’ve been trying to change myself, to pull myself out of this pit. But I can’t do it. So You’ll have to.”

And that’s exactly what He did.

After that step of faith, God began restoring joy to my soul. Where there was striving, there is peace. Where there was resentment, there is rest. I don’t know what the future holds, or how He will lead tomorrow.

But I know He’s good. And that’s good enough for me.


Related Posts:

Good Good Father

When Dreams Lie Dormant

I Need Counseling










A Joyful God

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing” Zeph 3:17.

Do you think of God as a joyful God?



John Piper said, “No one in the universe has more joy than God. He is infinitely joyful. He has rejoiced from eternity in the panorama of His own perfections reflected perfectly in the deity of His Son.”* I really had to ponder that when I read it in my devotional time a few days ago. God, the most joyful being in the universe? How can this be, when so much ugliness mars His creation? When sin runs rampant and His creatures hurt one another daily? When He is rejected by the very ones He came to save? When even we, His children, sin against Him?

When I think of describing God, joyful doesn’t usually come to mind. Holy, yes. Loving, yes. Powerful, sovereign, wise, yes. But joyful? Not so much.

Scripture is full of descriptions of God’s wrath against sin, verses like Psalm 7:11 – “God is a righteous Judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” Especially in the Old Testament (and in prophecy still yet future), we see God pouring out judgment on the wicked. His immaculate holiness prevents flawed humanity from even approaching Him on our own, as seen by design of the Jewish tabernacle described in the book of Exodus.

How can this holy God, this God who is angry with sin everyday, be a God of infinite joy? The two pictures seem like diametric opposites.

I think this is hard to understand because I am interpreting what I know of God through my own human “finiteness.” We are all made in the image of God, but He is so much bigger, so much…more than us. Yes, He is emotional. But His emotions are not flawed by sin or limited by humanity as ours are. As a human, it is hard to feel opposite emotions at the same time. When joy and anger, excitement and sorrow, indignation and love fill my heart simultaneously, I find myself in a state of inner turmoil. Processing those emotions and responding to them leaves me conflicted and often uncertain.

But our infinite God, the self-existant One, is not limited by time and humanity as we are. He is fully capable of experiencing those emotions (and the corresponding responses) at the same time. All of our characteristics that bear His image are experienced in complete perfection by the good and holy Creator.

Additionally, it is vital to remember that God relates differently to those who are His children and those who are not.


Does that seem unfair? It is – Jesus chose to be treated unfairly. He totally didn’t deserve to die on a cross. I did. You did.


All of us have broken God’s holy law (Rom 3:23). Justice demanded that our sin be punished, and that punishment is all encompassing death – body, soul and spirit (Rom 6:23). If God were merely holy, He would have annihilated us all, and been fully justified in doing so.

Oh, but He is not merely holy. He is also loving.

He created us to experience a relationship with Him. That was His heart’s desire, and our sin didn’t change that. Our choices cannot change the essence of who He is. So, in love, He came in the form of a man, Jesus, to live a sinless life and die a sinner’s death. He acted as our representative. And now, after conquering death by rising again, He offers complete pardon and restoration to those who come to Him in faith (Rom 5:8, John 1:12, Eph 2:8-9). If you are “in Christ” through faith, your sins are fully forgiven and God sees you as righteous.

So now, the only way that God relates to His children is with mercy and grace. If that’s you, there is no need to ever fear His wrath because it was all poured out on Jesus. You are the apple of His eye, His treasured possession, the one He will rejoice over with singing (Zech 2:8, Ps 135:4, Rom 11, Zeph 3:17). You, child of God, are His heart’s delight, regardless of your “performance.” He loves you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3). God, our joyful God, rejoices over you!

Does this mean He will overlook sin in our lives? No – He is jealous of our relationship with Him, as a husband who passionately loves his wife is jealous of their exclusive relationship (2 Cor 11:2-3). He will discipline sin – those things that come between Him and us. But even that discipline flows from a heart of mercy, compassion and love.

God, our God, is infinitely joyful. And, if you belong to Him, He has invited you to share in His joy (Gal 5:22-23, Rom 15:13).


How does God’s rejoicing over you affect the way you view God? What impact does it have on you in the “moment-by-moment” living? I’d love to hear your comments!

*From Solid Joys devotional App, April 27.