My Treasure Thou Art

This week, Lisa Samson spoke about a verse of which God keeps reminding her. It made me remember something God had spoken to Patrick and I as He nudged us toward France, four years ago. The verse was not Scripture, but its sentiment is no less Scriptural:

From the Hymn Be Thou My Vision:

Riches I heed not
Nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance
Now and always
Thou and Thou only
First in my heart
High King of heaven
My treasure Thou art.
We kept seeing that particular stanza everywhere! We sang it at Staff Candidate Orientation.
We sang it a week later in a church not known for its hymn singing. We received it from Crown Financial Ministries in a newsletter. We saw it highlighted again in a magazine. It was if God was confirming that our lives would parallel this stanza somehow.
One of my titanic struggles last year dealt with the first two lines.
Riches I heed not
Nor man’s empty praise
A dream of mine has been to be a published writer. I’ve written and written and written in obscurity. Just as things started looking promising (my terrific agent helped me land three contracts in three months!), we were going to uproot, taking me away from the place where I’d be published. I wish I could say I was holygirl, that I uttered things like, “Oh, God is so good. Now, I won’t have to worry about having acclaim. I can happily lay this down on the altar, for His glory.” Honestly, there were moments like that, but they were sandwiched between my kicking and scratching.
My problem was I had a very low view of God, His sovereignty, His ability, His purposes. Did I believe He was big enough to handle my silly worries? Did I believe He could sell a book without me being in America? Did I trust Him to be my Ultimate Agent? For a long time, no.
But, as I reminded myself about heaven, about eternity and what really matters, I began to heed His gentle calling–still kicking, but attentive.
Thou mine inheritance
Now and always
I saw that I would regret not going to France. I’ve known people who faced difficult, excruciating decisions before, who set their faces like flint against the decision, and lived a lifetime of regret. Their lives pivoted around one piece of non-obedience. It haunted them. I didn’t want that. I wanted to enter eternity and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Thou and Thou only
First in my heart
I cried a lot. I told God every excuse. I reminded Him of my writing “career” and my recent successes. It wasn’t so much that I deified writing as much as I devalued the place of God in my life. Beyond all affections, even writing, He was to have first place in my heart. Thou and Thou only. In the midst of all this, I felt like my writing was gelling for me, that my prose reflected me, that I’d discovered that elusive voice one reads about in writing magazines. I felt God’s pleasure when I wrote. Imagine the turmoil in my heart. I felt His pleasure, and yet I fretted about His course of action for my life, and the life of my dear family.
High King of Heaven
My treasure Thou art.
I don’t want to come across as the hero of this struggle. I am quite human, quite frail. I heed riches. I heed man’s empty praise. But in my journey with Jesus, I can say that I have loved Him passionately. And in the end, the struggle seemed smallish. I would heed His call, no matter what happened. No matter if I never sold another book. No matter if publishers shunned me for living too far away from the market. Because you know what? He is my treasure. He is the Pearl of great price. I suppose in a figurative I’ve sold my field (writing) for the sake of gaining Him.
I remember a song I used to blast from my RECORD player (yikes, I’m old). “I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. I may listen to a thousand tongues but I only hear one whisper…” I don’t know what the future holds. Truly. I don’t even know if we will crash and burn here in France (sometimes it feels like an inevitability). I don’t know if success will ever mark either our ministry here or the ministry God gives me via books and words. But, He is my treasure.
And today, that’s enough.
relevantgirl

 

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