A blue-gray sky signaled the day to come as my sister and I readied ourselves to board Turkish Airlines, flight 3327, to JFK. It was 6:30 a.m. in Istanbul, exotic, yet blurry to our sleep-deprived eyes. We had traveled since 9 p.m. that evening and were headed home after ten days in Israel.
Two middle-eastern families with small children made it through the last check point as an official scanned carry-on luggage. A Hasidic Jewish family of six rested by the nearest gate. The announcement to board came and I checked one last time for my boarding pass. It wasn’t there.
I emptied my purse out in my seat. Still no boarding pass. I ran to the flight supervisor. He frowned and gave a disgruntled snort. With people pushing forward to board, all he needed was a careless American slowing progress. One more panicked check and there it was, tucked inside my passport pages.
I needed that boarding pass. It was proof of my seat on the airplane. Passing security points along the way, I’d offered proof of my identity through guards, interviews and x-ray scans. What to do when the hidden kept me from moving toward my goal?
God is the Revealer of secret things. He knows what is in darkness because He is light. Daniel demonstrated how revelation comes from heaven to earth. It comes from a persistent, faith-filled cry. Daniel knew if revelation didn’t come, a hefty eunuch wielded a wicked blade to remove his head. (Daniel 2:22-23)
Most of us don’t look at revelation from God with that kind of urgency. I did have a boarding pass. It was just hidden. Desperation helped me find it.
Proverbs 2 shows us the proper attitude to get revelation from heaven. We cry out for insight and raise our voices for understanding. We seek wisdom like miners, chipping away at rock-like resistance to uncover the precious tucked away in the heart of God. This isn’t a side-line, or recreational activity. It is a lifelong necessity.
I learned in Jerusalem that when an enemy contends for what belongs to me, dig. As they dig, the Jewish people discover layer upon layer of their history. Those layers reveal mysteries. Hard work and unrelenting passion fuel their determination, despite an enemy’s opposition.
I get so comfortable. I don’t like to feel threatened. Yet the Jewish people know these threats every day. They’ve learned to defend what is precious. They’ve learned when all else fails, to dig deeper.
Treasures are always contended for. So when in doubt, dig. The gift is there, but it has to be uncovered. Humility teaches me to look for what I cannot see and to hear what I’ve not heard before. Obeying God requires a heart for knowing the unknown, not just for personal convenience, but as my daily bread.
On the final day of our trip, we visited the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Our last stop was a circular walk around a cylinder of black mirrors extending many feet above and highlighted by single candles. We heard a child’s name, age and birthplace, then another, then another. We were told it takes two and a half years to honor over a million children by name. Gone, but not lost or forgotten, despite the hate and prejudice that destroyed them.
I’m learning to look, on purpose, for riches hidden in the heart of God. They belong to me. They are unlocked by unshakable desire. I don’t know all I need to know. My faith is in the Revealer of secret things.
These treasures may be hidden today, but when revealed, shape my world with a divine chisel. They move me forward, like that airplane headed home, through pressure and opposition. They carry a picture of His heart. What He reveals may save a child. Perhaps a nation. But without it, my world suffers.