My grandmother, Gram we called her, was a rockhound. She loved finding different kinds of rocks. I am not talking about gravel or limestone, I mean the pretty stones, agates and other kinds of stones that while at first glance, seem to be just rocks. But, with cutting and polishing they become beautiful things that could be used for jewelry or used to make displays and decorations. Many of them, as I said, look like plain old rocks. But, once one learned about them they had certain characteristics that can be used to differentiate one from another. One kind she liked to hunt was thunder eggs.
“A Thunder Egg is a nodule-like or geode-like geological structure with some adhering silicified host rock comprising the outer zone of the thunder egg. Thunder Eggs are usually composed of quartz, agate, opal, and/or visibly crystalline quartz.”
Thunder Egg: Thunder Egg mineral information and data.
But, look at them in that picture, sure don’t look like much. We were visiting with them for a couple weeks one summer and we all went to dig thunder eggs. I was digging like crazy, sometimes with pic, rock hammer, chisel and shovel. It was work, but thinking I was digging for a sort of treasure, fun work. I found some and showed them to her. She looked through them, she would hold each one and look at it. After a few seconds she would say, “oh, that is a good one.” or, “nope, that one is no good.” and toss it aside. Now, to me, there was absolutely no difference in how they looked but she said she could tell a difference. I asked how and she said, “You have to learn to look inside them.” OK, right….how does one see inside a rock? I protested that one that I thought looked good was pretty on the inside, she was sure it wasn’t, but said, “well, go ahead and put it in the pile we are taking home so you can see.” She chipped a bit off the side so she would know which one it was and also chipped another that she said was a good one, but chipped it different so she could tell one from the other. We finished up the day, some I found she said were good, some not. The next day we started cutting some in the rock saw. Fascinating things on their own, but will discuss that in another blog.
And, she sliced the good one I found. Those things are amazing inside, different shapes in different colors, some look like houses, people, trees, animals and it is fascinating to see that. She had some that had perfect crosses in them that she had found. One looked like the silhouette of Abraham Lincoln. God does some marvelous work, if you just take time to look. Well, as I said, the good one was gorgeous inside, multiple colors, fascinating patterns. Nothing that resembled anything in particular, but wow, it still looked awesome. Then, she sliced the bad thunder egg, the one she had said was no good. AND, she was right. It had just a little bit of color but dull, nothing vibrant or bright, more like smudges of paint than anything else.
(I kinda see the ocean and mountains in this one.)
I asked, “How can you seen inside them?” She said, well, it’s like in the Bible, there is a lot of stuff in there and to get the most out of it, to see the beauty of His word, you have to learn how to look.” She went on to discuss external features of the rocks that normally were associated with better patterns and colors.
At that time, I was mostly worried about the thunder eggs and didn’t think about the true gem in what she had said, about reading the Bible with the right mindset to find the beauty of various scriptures and passages. And, being a child, after watching the rock slicing for a while, I decided it was time to do other things for a time.
Every once in a while since then, I would think about her saying I needed to learn how to look inside but until recently never gave much thought about the Biblical reference. Now, I try to read the scripture with a different mindset, different intent. I no longer read to just read it. I actually spend time praying before I read, asking for His help in understanding the message He has for me, the lesson He want me to learn, the beauty of that passage and how it can make me a better Christian so I can better serve Jesus.
Many of us like to do with the scripture as I did with the thunder egg, look and think they know what is inside. Many time I have done that. Find what it says, but not think about the meaning. Now, one can over analyze scripture and put the wrong thing into it, but most of us under analyze and only get what we want from it to suit our wishes at the time. One can make many things mean something from the intended meaning if you choose to look at things from the wrong perspective or with the wrong intent. If one wishes to find a verse that suits their situation, they will use that, sometimes paraphrasing or only using part of the verse or passage. Things taken out of context often appear to mean something other than what it truly says. Sometimes that means more than one verse, sometimes, more than one chapter, and, sometimes it requires more than one book. We have to put the entirety of the teachings together to get the real meanings.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
A cursory read of these verses/passages and one would think that whatever they want, they will get, if they pray and have faith. Well, yes……and no. Before anyone gets upset, I am not saying that faith and prayer will not give you what you seek. The thing is, if you are seeking and asking for the wrong thing, He won’t give it to you. One needs to consider that Christ starts out saying to have faith in God and pray to Him that He will give you what you ask for of Him. However, having faith in God means trying to seek Him, learning how to have the mind of Christ, the heart of Jesus. If you have the heart and mind of Christ and the faith that comes with it, then pray to God, He most certainly will give you what you want. However, you will find that by seeking Him first, the things for which you pray will change. Things will shift from the physical human wishes towards seeking of spiritual riches. One must consider what is said elsewhere in the Bible and use knowledge of all parts to get to the true beauty of His Holy Word.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39
So, all the promises He makes are true, He will give us what we want, what we seek, but they are conditional on us seeking that which we should seek. We have to get to that moment when we say, as Christ did, “not as I will, but as thou wilt.” God may have other wishes for us than we wish for ourselves. He wants us to want what He wants, He wants us to submit to His will and His way. When we do, we WILL pray differently, think differently, seek things differently. The words, taken here or there, give various meanings, but as I have heard, the sum is greater than the parts. Each part means this or that, but put together, a bigger, greater, more significant meaning is present. Yes, I need to learn to look on the inside, not take a superficial view, but study it and see how the entire thing fits together to make the magnificent message Christ has for me.
Lord, Praise You. Thank You Jesus for salvation and forgiveness. I ask that You work in my heart and mind that I better understand Your heart and mind. That I read the Bible from Your perspective and not mine. That I seek and find Your truths. The beauty of Your words. Please work on the hearts of loved ones that they come to you, those that already know you, make them stronger in faith. Teach us all how to hear You and to listen to what You are truly telling us.
It is nearing the weekend, I hope your weeks were full of God’s blessings and glory. Just don’t be stingy, remember to bless others as well and take time to show and share His glory.