My recent visit to Luray Caverns in Virginia only served to enhance my fascination with geodes. These sphere-shaped rocks contain hollow cavities that are lined with crystals in the interior. On the exterior the rocks look rather common and unattractive, so one must crack them open to discover the beauty within. The caverns reminded me of a huge geode that I could walk through. Discovered by five local men in 1878, the caverns were eventually designated a National Natural Landmark. Over thousands of years, water that dripped through layers of limestone containing calcium carbonate, iron and manganese dioxide formed stalactites (hanging from the ceiling) and stalagmites (growing from the floor up) and columns of varying shapes and colors. Until the caverns were discovered no one had any idea of the beauty held below the ground.
The treasures held in underground caverns or inside geodes are only discovered when one looks deeply within. The glittering crystals such as agate, chalcedony, jasper or amethyst are unique to every stone, and the common appearance of the exterior gives no clue to the beauty and value held within. Did you ever consider that God made each of us in His image with unique characteristics of value? In fact, He called His people treasured possessions. "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the people on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession." (Deuteronomy 7:6)
The Psalmist says, "Your hands made me and formed me..." (Psalm 119:73) "For you created my inmost being...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:13-14) God knows what He has placed within each of us and expressed that to the prophet Samuel when he was searching for the next king of Israel from among Jesse's sons. God told Samuel, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) The shepherd boy, David, was chosen because he was a man after God's own heart.
Consider Jesus, God's son. Here is how He is described in Isaiah 53:2-3. "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men..." Yet, within the Son of God there is a beauty that can only be seen by those who take the time to be with Him. Deep within the Lord Jesus Christ is an invaluable treasure that was put on display when He was broken on the Cross for our salvation. As the writer of Hebrews says, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being..." (Hebrews 1:3)
There is treasure hidden inside of every person on the face of the earth. As members of the family of God, it is our responsibility to find these encapsulated gems in those who we interact with each day. In essence, we are treasure hunters! Just as it takes patience and perseverance to sort through a field of common stones and open them in a search for treasure, we must have the same characteristics as we look for what God has placed deep within each of His children. Look at your family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances in a new way. Unique treasure lies inside waiting for us to discover it.
Joan E. Mathias