By Katie Helmreich
Every night for the past couple of months, my youngest has asked to do a page or two in her Hidden Picture books instead of stories. She’s pretty all over the place normally, but she gets intensely focused as she scours the page for each item. She squeals with delight when she discovers the cupcake among the mushrooms on the forest floor! The enthusiasm is infectious and I’ve cherished those moments lately.
There’s a special sort of joy in finding hidden things.
Her joy got me thinking about how many other times seeking out hidden things has been a blessing to us. Advent anticipation builds as the kids hunt high and low for a new nativity figure each day! Everyone loves the Easter egg hunt so much we often hide them more than once. I still get a little choked up remembering the Hershey “goodnight” kisses my husband used to hide for all of us to discover while he was overseas for business. Nature Eye Spy lists have given weary legs fresh energy on family hikes as we marvel at little miracles of creation instead of how far it is to the car!
Searching has given us boosts of energy, affirmation, and encouragement. It’s not so much about the items, but about sharing an experience. It’s discovering evidence of how much we are loved and pausing to marvel at amazing details!
In just the last couple years I’ve realized what a scavenger hunt there is within my Bible! For every familiar Bible story or passage there’s a trail leading all over the Scriptures!
Christ fulfilled each and every prophecy and sign. Following cross references and footnotes connects incredible details like in John 7, where Jesus goes into Jerusalem during the festival of booths, when the Israelites remembered God giving them water in the desert. On the last day of the festival, the great culminating day, Jesus tells the people “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Our of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:37-38)
It’s an amazing passage regardless, but it’s SO COOL to realize His timing!
The letters to the early Church are exciting, too. The apostles proclaim Christ as the fulfillment of all Scripture, referring to bits all over Scripture to demonstrate God’s perfect plan for our salvation. I particularly love the examples that show that it’s God’s plan all along to welcome BOTH Jews and Gentiles into the family!
There’s is always more to find. It’s absolutely fascinating to see God’s power demonstrated in God’s perfect plan: not just a string of amazing stories, but a single story, cohesive in every purpose-filled detail. The Bible isn’t just a story of things of the past; it’s our story. God speaks to everything we face now. It’s in there; we just get to dig a bit more sometimes!
As we follow these trails through Scripture, we discover reserves of energy and excitement we didn’t know we had. We see signs of the Spirit’s presence, evidence of Jesus’ faithfulness, and assurance of God’s love. We eagerly spend more time with Jesus as we anticipate His coming again!
Interact with the trail as you go! Leave yourself trail markers, treasures to be stumbled upon over and over again, favorite connections and paths. Jot down notes about what you learned or how God blessed you today in that passage. Write prayers in the margins next to God’s promises and rejoice at how God has answered when you come across them again later! Best of all, SHARE the joy of the hunt and discovery!
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at with within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever, Amen. Ephesians 3: 14-21
It’s absolutely incredible. The more we learn, the more we realize how much MORE there is to discover. We can only glimpse the vastness of who God is, but it’s enough to make us want to shout for joy and dance with delight as the Spirit uses the Word to reveal Jesus to us!
Images provided by the author. Featured image: There’s always more to find! It’s amazing what you notice when you keep looking. Helping each other hunt for items (and the occasional ride) kept us all going!