Updated: Sep 29
I had the strangest thing happen to me the other day. My daughter and I went to a dance show. It featured some professional dancers and some dance students along with a local show choir. I grew up spending many nights a week at a dance studio. I loved singing, dancing, and performing in general. I quit when I got a bit older, but I still enjoy watching people perform. It always reminds me of my childhood and of the dreams I had to be a performer one day. (I was so convinced as a child that I would perform on stage forever.) So when I watched this show, I was surprised when I felt different emotions than normal. Usually I feel bittersweet emotions, enjoying the show but wishing I would have gone further in the performing field. I’ve often wondered what would have happened if I had kept going. It always looks so fun. But this time, I was thinking to myself, “You wouldn't have been fulfilled doing this.” The performers were showing such passion, and they looked like they were having the time of their lives. But lately I have been feeling less passion for things that don’t have the mission of Jesus as fuel. The things I once loved feel empty. However, I don’t feel sad. I feel like I finally get it.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 Click to Tweet
I was sitting there thinking, “How cool would it be if they were singing about Jesus right now instead?” And immediately after that I thought to myself, “So you’re that person now, huh?” But it’s true, the more I’ve fallen in love with Jesus, the more he enters into every part of my life. I used to sort of leave Jesus in my “religion” box back home when I partook in conventional escapism entertainment. Now I’m finding that happening less and less. He goes with me everywhere and has infiltrated every aspect of my life. It means leaving behind some passions; they have begun to lose their meaning. But it means gaining so much more, so much so that I don’t mourn my loss of passion in other things at all.
Take a look at this quick pair of parables that Jesus shared:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” Matthew 13:44-46
I love the version of the pearl/merchant story below that I found in my daughter’s book, “Favorite Parables From the Bible: Stories Jesus Told” by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen.
***And as a side note, one of my friends shared with me that she discovered the value of referencing children’s Bibles for her own understanding. There’s no shame in looking at a children’s book depiction of a Bible story as a means to try to understand it better!
It goes like this:
Here is a man who buys and sells things. He is called a merchant.
He has a fine fur coat and a felt hat with a floppy feather. It is his favorite.
The house he lives in is huge. It has five floors and a fishpond with a fountain in the front garden.
The merchant has everything he wants.
He has fifteen rooms filled with furniture.
He has four freezers full of food. (And three fridges for fizzy drinks.)
And there is more money under his mattress than you could ever imagine. Much more.
Yes, the merchant has everything he wants, until…
One day, in a shop window, he sees something. Something special.
It is a wonderful white pearl.
“Five hundred thousand dollars,” says the man in the shop.
It is even more money than the merchant has under his mattress.
But he wants that pearl more than anything in the world.
He hurries home. He has a plan.
He sells his furniture, his fridges, and freezers full of food.
He sells his house, his fountain, and his fishpond.
He sells his fine fur coat.
But the felt hat with the floppy feather, he keeps. It is his favorite.
He borrows a wheelbarrow and bundles in the money.
Off to the shop he walks to buy the pearl.
Oh dear! He is still six dollars short.
“Sell me your hat for six dollars,” says the man in the shop.
The merchant laughs. He hands the man his hat and takes the pearl.
Hooray! The pearl is his at last.
Jesus says, “God is like the merchant’s pearl. It costs everything to know him. But he is worth more than anything in the world.”
As we continue to grow closer to Jesus, it begins to feel like nothing else matters. Having a relationship with him feels like stumbling upon a beautiful pearl that we’re willing to sell everything for. Things we used to love may lose their meaning, but we find a much deeper meaning in our belonging to Jesus’ family, his Kingdom. It’s when we allow Jesus into everything that we can do our best work for him. Nothing we do is of our own power. Everything is a gift from God. So when you surrender everything to God, giving him the reigns, he can really show his power in and through your life!
For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:8-11 Click To Tweet
Ashlee is a wife and SAHM, an eager follower of Jesus, and a chronically loud-laugher. She loves finding new ways to look at the Bible, in hopes to grow closer to Jesus and to find fresh ways to learn and teach others.
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