In the 1850s in a small creek northeast of Sacramento, a group of miners exposed gold bearing gravels by removing boulders from the stream bed and placing them in a make-shift wall. One rock, when hefted, seemed a little heaver, but after a back breaking day of lifting and carrying boulders the miner didn't even think about it. When the miners completed this task, they set about panning and sluicing the gravel finding flakes and small nuggets. Of course they couldn't get it all. Fine dust remains even today - a tease to the weekend miner. But for 130 years the real treasure remained, disguised as a plain boulder visible for all to see in a rock wall. Many hundreds of gold seekers walked past the boulder, sampling the gravel, cursing the poor pickings of gold dust, until one day a man with a electronic metal detector, looking for stray nuggets and coins, happened to pass the instrument over the wall. This one boulder, that looked like all the rest, set off his detector. Unbelieving, yet with wild hope, he wrestled the boulder from the wall, set it on the ground, and struck it with his rock hammer. The rock split neatly in two - to reveal a sponge-like core of pure gold.
The treasure was in plain sight yet no one saw it, because it was hidden. God knows our true value - He sees what others don't see. God can take the old plain stone of our heart and split it in two to reveal the treasure we are to God. He isn't content to leave us on the shelf. He seeks us out until we are found. The stone had to be drawn out of the wall, before its golden core could be exposed. The rocky case had to be split and shattered. God is in the business of stripping away our sin and drawing us out of the world into his kingdom.
Larry Vredenburgh May 14, 1999