Dig Deep

February 16, 2012

A few years ago I was privileged to take part in an archeological dig in Israel.  The dig site was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where a constant breeze swept off the water.  The organizers of the dig had to temporarily suspend work on the site as few years before my team’s arrival. Before they left, the site had been covered with heavy black plastic.  Even with this precaution, when the digging resumed there was several feet of sand to be removed due to the relentless winds coming off the sea. After climbing out of the hole in the ground we called a dig site, that same wind would dry our sweat-soaked clothes in just a few minutes, even with daytime temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

It took weeks for the diggers to get down to the place where the last team had stopped.  For more than a month, their only job was removing sand that had blown into site while it lay abandoned.  Dull, tedious work.

For the month I was there, we dug in earnest, but in most places we removed dirt a few buckets at a time. Sand and dirt measured in centimeters and inches rather than feet.  It was slow, but very rewarding when we found something.  The team before us worked frantically for a month to expose a plastic tarp.  Our group worked slowly and methodically to expose treasures from a thousand years before Christ.  Our team would never have been rewarded had it not been for the team that preceded us.  Our joy was only possible because of the difficult work of those who came before us.

In your ministry to kids, you may occasionally be blessed to uncover a treasure; to lead a child to Christ, to help a child make a wise choice, to help him or her discover a new and (for them) unexpected treasure from Heaven.  But most of the time we are simply removing dirt.  Mostly we are helping kids (and parents) get below the surface of what life has blown on them.  Down deep, below the sand of sin, the dirt of disobedience, and the mud of mistakes, that is where the treasure lies.

So don’t stop digging.  Don’t stop loving.  Don’t miss the joy of treasure discovered.  By showing up and loving you are helping remove several seasons worth of shifting sands, so that someone else, perhaps very soon, can help a child clearly discover the treasure of Jesus’ love.

And don’t stop thanking God for those who went before you.

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