In the early days of the American colonies, pirates plagued merchant shipping on the trade routes of the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. At their peak between 1715 and 1725, it is estimated that there were approximately 2000 pirates manning ships of various sizes. With no organized armed resistance against them, few were caught and hanged, with most never facing punishment. The majority found it a lucrative profession, with some ships’ captains acquiring enormous wealth.
After they divided the spoils of their efforts, their newfound wealth was in jeopardy of being stolen by other pirates. To protect themselves, it was common for pirates to bury their treasure on one of the Caribbean islands or the coast of North America. They used various means to keep their treasures from being found by others. Although using different means, some professional smugglers today still use a principle known as Pirate’s Treasure. The pirate would dig a deep hole and bury the vast majority of his treasure. He would then fill up the whole part way and put the small portion left in the hole before he continued filling it in.
When hunting for treasure, how deep do you dig? The standard answer is till you find the treasure. The pirate’s question is, how do I get someone to stop digging? The answer is to let them find a treasure, even though it may be small.
When I first heard of the Pirate’s Treasure principle, it didn’t surprise me that smugglers still use it. What surprised me was that the Lord uses it. It was recently that I realized that. When I prayed to receive spiritual gifts, such as divine healing and prophecy, the Lord eventually answered with a portion. This past year, I have asked the Lord to take me deeper. I wanted the more significant portion. It was obvious to me that the larger portion must have faith, hope, and love, knowing they come in the opposite order because love is the key.
God is love, and he’s working to reveal the person within me that was made in his image. I felt the Lord questioning me as to whether I loved everyone. I answered, “No, I don’t, Lord.” The Lord seemed to want me to give him the list. I started with the usual suspects: people who abuse children, rapists, men who hit women, serial killers, especially serial killers (I wrote a blog post related to this Every Life is Broken). The Lord stopped me there, and I was overwhelmed by the image that they were just people trapped in their own mental prison, and someone needed to help them get free. I asked the Lord, “Can I call the police first before I show them your love, Lord?” I felt the Lord saying, “Yes, that would be fine.” In spite of that, I am still struggling to follow the Lord in this. The deeper things only work when you love the person you minister to and want God to do his work for them.
My hope must be in the Lord, not my spiritual gifts, calling, or abilities. God answers the call of my hope by giving me faith. Once faith comes, I must trust the Lord and leave it with him until he completes his work.
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